One Little Word

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


The only way to find true happiness is to risk being completely cut open.
Chuck Palahniuk

Based on a post on Shutter Sisters One Word Project on their blog I found out about a course Ali Edwards is doing for Big Picture Classes called "One Little Word".  The object is to pick a word that you want to focus on for the year.  The word doesn't necessarily define you it is something you simply focus on as you go through the year and you see what happens with your word. As you go through the year you build a journal, scrapbook of the experience.  The photo above is one of the coverpages of my scrapbook. 

Since I have been working on making some significant changes in my life in the last few months I felt this might be a good thing for me to try.  So I signed up for the course and started thinking about my word.  Many words came to mind, among them, authentic, mindful, present...but none of them seemed quite right until one day it hit me "open".  That would be my word. 

For most of my life I have been a very closed person, I didn't let anyone past my wall.  I can even envision my wall in my imagination if I want to.  I can remember specifically being this way when I was as young as seven years old.  For most of my life I simply assumed that people didn't get me, or were intimidated by me or just didn't care enough to understand me.  I don't even know how I came to the realization last summer that the problem wasn't likely other people it was me.  But when I really looked back with an open mind and heart I realized that even as a seven year old I had a wall between myself and the rest of the world.  

Honestly I have no idea what causes a seven year old to build that kind of wall and why through to adulthood I felt I had to maintain it but back at the beginning of December I decided it was time to start taking down the wall.  I saw how the wall was preventing me from truly becoming the person I wanted to be because this closed off person simply could not communicate what she really needed to even to the people she loved.  I realized that a wall built that long ago and reinforced regularly would be difficult to move so I sought help from a counsellor who has helped me see that in part my wall is there because I don't feel I am good enough.  I don't feel that people will like me so I put up a wall so that I don't have to care if they like me.  The issue with this is that no one ever gets to know the real you...and you live a very lonely life. 

So I am happy to report, slowly but surely the wall is coming down.  My relationships with everyone from family to co-workers are deepening.  I'm am far from having this mastered, but I am trying.  I am committed to being open to vulnerability, intimacy and deep, true fulfilling friendship.  It is difficult to lay bare your soul, but it is the only way to truly live.  So I 

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