“I do not believe that sheer suffering teaches. If suffering alone taught, all the world would be wise, since everyone suffers. To suffering must be added mourning, understanding, patience, love, openness, and the willingness to remain vulnerable.”
~Anne Morrow Lindbergh
Are you closed, defensive, or shut down in any area of your life? If so, then you know how to suffer. Here’s the recipe:
- Don’t be open to new perspectives
- Be unwilling to question your thoughts
- Don’t try to think and act differently
- Stay attached to your emotions and your need to be right
- Fight for your right to continue being a victim
- Resist getting help
- Refuse to change
Not Necessarily Stuck
Suffering is inevitable in our human journey. We all experience challenges as we grow up. You learn strategies and develop beliefs that protect you when you are young, but ultimately don’t serve you.
You get conditioned to avoid, rebel, and mold yourself to please others.
And you act out patterns, unconsciously, without recognizing their origin. You might even wear them like a banner, defending your position and denying your need to change. This is the nature of being human, which touches into so much compassion for the tenderness of it all – in ourselves and others.
But here’s the clincher:
It’s miraculous that you can bring your attention into your inner world, question your thoughts and investigate the reality of your feelings, and discover that freedom is here – so close and available.
It’s amazing that it is possible dispel the distorted ideas and the needs and fears that drive you. And it all begins with openness.
Openness breathes fresh air into the stale cave of your conditioned habits.
The Value of Openness
You might be holding onto your habits like a cloak, but openness invites you into the purity of your heart prior to any conditioning. It suggests the possibility of being free of patterns and identities. It paves the way for returning to wholeness.
When you are open, you don’t assume anything to be true. You are innocent, like a baby. Humble and available. You are interested in inner reflection, and you lead from curiosity. You experiment and explore.
You can receive teachings and intelligent advice. You shed ideas and attachments to discover the freedom that lies underneath them.
Opening to Resistance, Too
Openness may be the key to your happiness, but resistance needs to be respected. If you find yourself unwilling and stuck, can you open to that as well?
Be kind and accepting of yourself even when your heels are dug in and you refuse to budge. Let yourself be as you are in your defensiveness without adding another layer of resistance.
Feel what it’s like to be closed to its very core. Be totally stuck without the story of being stuck. Opening to this raw experience is the path back to yourself.
Openness is a virtue, and this virtue will set you free.
Where are you closed and stuck? Where are you open? I’d love to hear…