Even if it hurts.
The inspiration for this article came from David Deida’s book, The Way of the Superior Man. The message is simple, live with an open heart. What does this mean? Don’t unnecessarily put a filter on yourself because of the fear of offending someone or not being liked. At the same time, don’t go out of the way to insult or hurt someone.
The key here is vulnerability; sharing the feelings or ideas that are closest to our hearts. This is very fearful in the beginning (as it is for me right now). When you are vulnerable, you have the fear of being rejected/judged and this rejection would hurt deeply because in this moment you are defenseless. Realize this not everyone will like you and if they do, you’re doing something wrong. You are either being dishonest in your expression or you are one lucky person who found all the right people (it is easier to get struck by lightning). It is better to be liked for who you truly are than for the facades that you have created. These facades would have to change constantly to morph for different people and their expectations. Think about a more stressful job.
What happens when you do open your heart? You start pulsing with a vibrant energy. I know this from firsthand experience (this is the day that I told many of my friends about this blog and I am still high on that energy). When you start expressing who you are, you start untangling yourself. When you are untangled, you feel light and free. And freedom is the greatest feeling for me, which is why I write to you about it. As the old adage goes, “The truth shall set you free”.
The important thing to do before you start expressing yourself is to first accept yourself for who you are and all that you stand for. You don’t have to completely agree with someone else and no one else is obligated to completely understand you. This is how it is. When you accept your own truth and chose to live by it no matter what, a certain aura surrounds you. People might not agree with you but they will respect you for standing for something.
The following is the relevant text from the book:
The superior man practices opening during these times of automatic closure. Open the front of your body so your chest and solar plexus are not tense. Sit or stand up straight and full, opening the front of your body, softening your chest and belly, wide and free. Breathe down through your chest and solar plexus, deep into your belly. Look directly into the eyes of whoever you are with, feeling your own pain as well as feeling the other person. Only when the front of your body is relaxed and opened, your breath full and deep, and your gaze unguarded and directly connected with another person’s eyes, can your fullest intelligence manifest spontaneously in the situation. To act as a superior man, a samurai of relationship, you must feel the entire situation with your whole body. A closed body is unable to sense subtle cues and signals, and therefore unable to act with mastery in the situation.
When you are vulnerable with someone, you inspire vulnerability in them. If the person is ready to be vulnerable with you, then the interaction would lead to a deeper connection. Otherwise, the other person might shy away from further conversation. If this is the case, then don’t get disheartened. All this is not about the other person’s reaction but about you accepting yourself and sharing with an open heart.
Live with an Open Heart, Be Free.
Till next time,
-VR (I changed my pen name ;P)