Friday, January 20, 2012
New Years Resolutions: Come out of Hiding
|I'm in the center. Even strange birds can have amazing friends. :)|
This New Years Eve, I was at an amazing outdoor party with some of my dearest old friends who moved away years ago. I was caught up in the moment of playful celebration, dancing, and reconnecting. Resolutions and, in fact, all thoughts about future were beyond the distant horizon of my present experience.
At some point, when we were gathered in a circle, someone asked about every one's resolutions. Hmmm, well, I thought, there are so many things I would like to do... finish the children's book I am writing and illustrating, or get stronger physically, or maybe develop my etsy store more or participate in a art/craft fair or......
However, beneath all those tangible activities and goals, there was a feeling of a stronger, more all encompassing desire that was calling me – a desire to be more open to people, friends, family, co-workers, strangers. I want to see people as they truly are and respond to them from that place of common humanity without as much attention being given to what separates us. I want to be willing to wade through some awkward first conversations, be with that discomfort, and give the connection more time to begin to flow. I want to reach out to people and bridge the gap.
Since I was a child, I struggled with feelings of alienation. Over the last decade, I have been slowly and gently exploring and gradually dismantling my beliefs that make me feel like I don't fit in this world. Part of that process has really been understanding how so many of us feel isolated or feel like we have to hide from each other for fear of judgement. It is unbelievable how afraid of each other we can be.
So, my new year's resolution is to come out of hiding. I won't compartmentalize my life as much, hiding certain aspects of my lifestyle from certain people because maybe, this act of honesty will help someone see that they have a greater range for self-expression and that they can be more free than they thought. I will not always do this perfectly. Sometimes, I will lack social grace and sometimes I might confuse someone with my open-ness but the chance to make true contact with another human being is worth the risk. Come out of hiding with me. Make friends, smile more, let our eyes meet.
What's your resolution? How do you practice being more open to people?