Awakening is the process of continually opening. It is the process of love claiming all. It is paradoxically already complete and at the same time blossoming. In my own life it is interesting to see the places that I contract. It is interesting to note the places where I am not open or feel a pull to close. It is interesting to feel them in my gut or throat or shoulders. Sometimes I will try to defend a mental position as if that position were somehow imbued with a little part of myself, and I guess to my ego it is. It is also funny when I can look back and think - how odd that I took that idea or situation to be so serious. Two places that have been wonderfully illustrious to me recently have been my relationship with my sweetie and my work.
Oh, yes, I got a job. It is very intense at my new job. People's expectations of me are very high. During the day I am often knotted inside, too much afraid of the ways that I might fail. One antidote of course, is riveting myself on the actual task at hand. If I am knotted, I am likely too focused on the future and not enough in the present moment. It helps to remind myself to dwell there as often as I can. Sometimes just the sipping of a cup of tea at my desk can remind me to come home.
It is also interesting, to witness my identity dissolving. The dissolution is sometimes awkward and uncomfortable. The contraction inside, the knotted place, is oddly helpful, it shows me where my ego is still invested. My ego still finds it important to be seen as an intelligent, competent person. It still fears failing and creates a story of "but what if. . . ." But who would I be if I did not excel at my job? The contraction is the gap between the truth which my heart knows and the pull of the illusion which suggests that I need to be special through my intelligence to matter to the world. Does this mean that I should suddenly stop trying to excel at work or that something is wrong if one is smart or any other "desirable" quality. No, not at all, it simply means that to the extent I tie my identity to those qualities, when I am so much more than them, I will be closed off and suffer. Remember, you are both all and nothing.
I am glad that I no longer for the most part make an enemy out of my contractions. Instead I try to let them be or embrace them with a little love. A little empathetic curiosity goes a long way. Don't make a foe out of them. They are signals that can allow you to open further if you are willing to hear what they have to say. With my sweetie, I have discovered perhaps for the first time, the real beauty of relationship. She is a crystal mirror for me. She reflects back to me who I still believe I am. If we "fight" it is the perfect opportunity for me to discover where I am not transparent. It is the perfect chance to see where I am still invested in again creating a story of "me" or in being something special or of being right. We defend ourselves because deep down we are trying to convince 0urselves of something. One only defends, or attempts to feel special or needs to be right when one isn't aligned with the truth that they are. When we are aligned with that truth there is nothing we need to prove. My relationship with my sweetie is such a gift because it gives me such a deep opportunity to open, or to see where I still feel my limitations. Where in your life do you contract?
So what is "open"? What does it mean? Well for a definition I suggest you check in with your own heart. It is a good compass for what is open and what is not. When I am open such a sweet tenderness exists. Open is the outpouring of love. It is connection with and compassion for. It is alignment with truth. The invitation is always there but I am not always courageous enough to rest there. But even still, all is well for, love claims it all. It never goes away, even if you are not open to it and remained closed at that moment. There are always more chances to open, to love.