Day 157 of 366: Blog Challenge 2012
This morning Geoff went off early to work for the day so I took the opportunity to go for a 20 minute walk before it got too late.
As I walked outside I was greeted by a beautiful expanse of clear blue sky with a handful of fluffy clouds scattered around but a cool breeze was blowing and I had to go and retrieve a thick scarf to ward off the cold.
Still, I enjoyed being in the cool fresh air. I could hear the Noisy Minor birds chattering in the distance and a lone crow squawking every now and then. I saw the leaves on the liquid amber trees beginning to turn from green to autumn tones; one of the few trees in Brisbane with autumn leaves at this time of year. How beautiful and stately they looked in their new colours!
As I walked I became caught up with the beauty of the day and I began to mull on the topic I wanted to write about today:
Step 4 BE YOU: BE OPEN and HONEST.
I wasn’t sure exactly what this seemingly trite little statement was about so I was talking to God as I walked amongst nature, about the whole thing. This is always my best way of gaining some wisdom on a subject. The combination of my own thoughts, sprinkled with some inspiration from above, always helps!
As I walked, I remembered reading about how your body language is often an outside indicator of what is happening on the inside and people read it. The advice was to not have your arms folded and your fists closed. Be aware that you need to stay open to others by having the body language of an open person. Allow your arms to be open.
This has stayed with me for many years and I pass it on to you now. As I continued walking down the street, I was reminded of an acquaintance I have who seems to become defensive over the slightest thing. I could say to her “Oh I love going to bed early” and she would reply “Oh no! I’m not like that, I’m always up until midnight every night. I don’t need to go to bed early!”
It would get my back up and I would think to myself “Oh I wish you could just be accepting of people instead of making them feel like they are a second-class citizen.” Lots of other things took on the same connotations. “Oh no, I NEVER get sick!” was another one and then “Oh no! I would never do that!” In the end I had to learn to be accepting of her and not defend myself!
I learned that people who are like this often feel inferior and they need to puff themselves up in order to feel better about themselves. By disagreeing with you they are saying that how you feel is not acceptable and they can always do it better … then they feel better.
I tell you what, take notice next time YOU are in this situation and are tempted to do it. I know that I have found myself echoing shades of this myself so none of us are immune. Afterwards I would think to myself “Why did I feel so inferior that I needed to puff myself up?” It has helped me to be true to myself – to be honest and open and to simply say “Oh well, all of us are different aren’t we?”
So now that I have given you MY reflections on the subject of: Be HONEST and OPEN, what did my WikiHelp site say about the subject? Here is what I found:
“Be honest and open. What have you got to hide? We’re all imperfect, growing, learning human beings. If you feel ashamed or insecure about any aspect of yourself — and you feel that you have to hide those parts of you, whether physically or emotionally — then you have to come to terms with that.”
So this actually backs up what I have been saying all along doesn’t it? But there is a difference between being critical and being honest; learn to watch the way you say things to yourself and others when being honest. It would be madness to be so totally honest that we disclose too much. I believe we do need to keep certain things to ourselves, things that are private and may only be shared with very close friends.
On the other hand, WikiHelp suggests: “Try the tactic of owning up to your imperfections mid-argument with someone,” You can say “Yep, I am just like that! Prone to leave things to the last-minute!” Or whatever, the subject. It does disarm people and they are surprised and will often back off.
But in order to do this, you have to first love and accept yourself with all your imperfections. Remember have written about this previously. I read once: “to truly love and accept other people, you have to first love and accept yourself” and I have found this to be so true! So whilst trying to be honest and open, learn to love yourself at the same time.
In closing, let me just say that I believe life is a dance really. We’re always shifting feet and jumping around in response to whatever is happening in our relationships. Sometimes we get it right and we punch the air. Other times we totally stuff up and get the steps wrong and are tempted to beat ourselves up … don’t do it!
Be kind to yourself. Begin the dance of life from the beginning again and just keep practising until you get your foot-work down pat. That’s what I try to do. In the meantime, keep those fists unclenched, be accepting of yourself and others and be as honest and open as you know how.
And here is some further inspiration to spur you on: