Keep your hands open, and all the sands of the desert can pass through them. Close them, and all you can feel is a bit of grit.'~Taisen Deshimaru

I have a confession to make. I lived the early part of my life closed off. After many experiences starting in childhood where I felt like my true self was rejected, I closed myself off from others. I could crack a joke like nobody's business, and discovered I could use humor to put a distance between myself and other people. I learned how to draw people out, how to get them to tell their stories, so I didn't have to tell my own. I moved around from place to place when people started getting to know the real me. I was scared. I was scared to let anyone else hold my heart. It was easier to dance in the mask of the adventurer, the lone wolf. In the end, I ran away.

But, then one day, I had an awakening. I felt the grit of the sand burning my hands, and I felt lonely, like no one understood me, and I knew I only had myself to blame. I knew that it was time. It was time to poke my head out of the cocoon I had created around myself. I was tired of closing myself off to others. I was tired of closing myself off to life. It was time to take my own tender heart and to set her free. She was ready to feel again.

Step by step, I learned to be outrageously open. I didn't just become open with others. I became open to life itself. I learned that intimacy with others is what it's all about. I started finding my tribe because I was letting others know the real me. And, yeah, I started crying a whole lot more. Now, I cry at sunsets, and ocean waves, and homeless kittens. Sometimes, I even cry at flowers. But, I'm feeling again, and my heart erupts in waves of delight every day. ...[Continue reading on Yourownlife]