Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Joyride, A to Z: Open

Each January, I pick a word to define my year. I kind of plant it in my subconscious and watch it unfold. This year, my word is "open".

Here's the definition:
(adjective) Allowing access, passage, or a view through an empty space; not closed or blocked up.
(noun) Move or adjust so as to leave a space allowing access and view.

The biggest part of experiencing openness is allowing.  Allowing means that I am open to what others do, be or have. It doesn't mean that I agree with it, AND it doesn't mean that I disagree with it--living in openness means that I cast no judgement on another's experience.

You may be thinking, "That sounds a lot like tolerance." But it's not. Tolerance means that we don't really approve of the actions of others but we put up with it anyway. Despite it's popularity in our modern vocabulary, the word "tolerance" isn't a word I like to use in talking about my fellow human beings. I tolerate mosquitoes--I tolerate doing my taxes. On the other hand, being open, (or allowing) means that I am what I am, and you are what you are, and I honor, value and treat you as I would like to be treated in all things.

By being open, I remove all negative emotion that I may derive from the actions of others. I choose not to stay stuck in any negative emotion that other's actions may bring me. For instance, there's this lady who always, ALWAYS cuts me off at my daughter's school. Every day, without fail, she smirks at me and revs her engine and cuts right in front of me.

Now, I could throw something at her, or shake my fist, or smash her windshield in with my tire iron, or I could just talk about how she cuts me off every day and spend my time seething---or, I can choose to be open to her actions, wish her well, and be on my way.

By removing my negative emotions about the event (her cutting me off) I am not blocked up by my own thinking. I get to enjoy the many and beautiful blessings around me instead of stewing in my daily dramas--which, who are we kidding--they really aren't that interesting anyway.

Instead, I'm trying to be open. I'm attempting to allow. I find that when I do, openness expands my spirit. Being open allows me unfettered views on the path to understanding and compassion. I no longer tolerate my fellow humans. Instead, when I'm open to how others live their experience (in all their wonderful contrast and beauty) I am granted the same gift in return.

Openness seems to be working for me so far....at least I haven't used my tire iron...yet.


Being open brings me joy. What brings you joy today?

24 comments:

  1. This is a pretty blog! I'm going to try that idea on today - not allowing negative thoughts about my perceptions of other's behavior. I take it all so personally sometimes!

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    1. We all take it personally...and that's ok. And it's also ok to let it all go. :)

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  2. What a great word for the year. Freedom from judgment is a wonderful lifestyle! Happy O day!
    tm

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  3. Great post. I love the idea of openness expanding the spirit.

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  4. I like your distinction between openness and tolerance. I've always felt that "tolerance" of differences (often urged on citizens in a multicultural or pluralist society), is not enough. How does it feel to be a minority that is just being tolerated? I prefer "co-exist," at the very least. Thank you.

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  5. This is so wonderfully written. Thank you.

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  6. I like to think that I am open, but I know that with some things, it doesn't come easily such as science fiction, sport and computer games.

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    1. It's all about the journey. Openness doesn't come naturally to me either...

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  7. I never really thought about the difference between being open and tolerating. I'm going to aim for open. :)

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  8. That is an amazing way to live. I think I tolerate more than I'm open to, but I also think that I should change that. You're really becoming one of my role models, with how you live your life.

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  9. Breathing in, open. Breathing out, open. Like other commenters, I find your distinction between openness and tolerance a helpful one. Great post! xo

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    1. LOve you, honey. I just stole something from your blog for tomorrow too. ;) xoxoxo

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  10. I've never really thought of what the word tolerance means before, but of course you're right. From now on I'm going to try for openness rather than tolerance.

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    1. Kellie, you ARE open--one of the most open and loving people out there!!

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  11. YES YES YES. I 100% agree about the word tolerance. In a place I used to work, I would walk by a poster every day that said "strive for tolerance" and that bothered me so much, because a goal we strive for should be much higher than meer tolerance.

    I'm glad I was poking around the A to Z list today. I really enjoyed this post. :)

    alioffthemark.com

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    1. Thanks for stopping by! Headed over to visit "you"now! :)

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  12. I am trying to be open as well, but admit that I am also letting myself sort of close off what has failed or frustrated me in the past...for now

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    1. I don't think there is ANYTHING wrong with closing yourself off to the past--because it's PAST. Living in the now isn't dredging up unhappiness or reliving past events. Openness is living here and now and not judging any other's actions--even your own!!!

      You're so awesome, Andrea!!!! Xoxoxo

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