I was just yesterday told that I am an “open book” and that there aren’t very many people “like me”.
Perhaps. And I did take it as the compliment it was meant to be. And then I got to thinking …
Why aren’t there more people like me? Why doesn’t anybody else (or very few other elses) want to be open books? What good is a closed book? You get to read the title and the author’s name and maybe see a pretty picture on the cover and then pfft … you’re done. Isn’t it way more fun to open the book and actually read it?
Of course the answer is fear, right? Everybody is afraid that if they become an open book someone will misread what is written, or misinterpret. And if they share all their secrets and tell all their truths it may backfire. They might end up getting hurt because I’ll tell you this – it is impossible to manipulate anything, any situation or any ONE if you are an open book. Absolutely impossible. Plus you up the odds that someone just might manipulate YOU. Because once your truths are on the table, well baby you are naked. No more mystery, no more wondering, no more armour.
In his famous song John Mayer sings:
Have no fear for giving in
Have no fear for giving over
You’d better know that in the end
It’s better to say too much
Than never to say what you need to say again
John darling, I fully agree. HAVE NO FEAR. Because the worst thing that can happen is that you get hurt. You don’t get what you want. Or what you think you wanted (probably more realistic). But so what? If you said what you needed to say and you did it with the truest intentions and a heart wide open, then hold your head up high!
That’s was John says:
Even if your hands are shaking
And your faith is broken
Even as the eyes are closing
Do it with a heart wide open
Because there is absolutely nothing more beautiful and true than a heart wide open. Sure those clever, calculating, contriving and crafty creatures who never give anything (meaningful) away, play their cards ever-so-close to their chests and ALWAYS play to win (no matter what the prize), well they do seem to be the ones in charge.
But they are not. Trust me, it takes a lot of energy to keep your stories straight, your truth concealed and your heart fully protected. Quite frankly it is exhausting. And in the end, the only prize you win is … more prevarication. Sure you might win the round. You might save yourself from getting hurt. You might even carry on endlessly unscathed, flying way low under the radar.
What a horrible way to endure.
I would much rather be ON the radar. Flying freely. Wings fully extended. Heart wide open. Saying what I need to say.
Of course being an open book can also be exhausting. Living without any armour whatsoever tends to be somewhat bruising. And we all know bruises hurt.
But I have lived the other way. I know that pain too. It is much much worse.
Usually at this point in my ramblings I include some anecdotes about myself or people I know who have experienced whatever it is I am writing about.
Today there will only be one. Prefaced by a small bit of history.
Soon after my ex-husband and I split up, he and his new love condemned me for “sharing too much” with my son. For being “too honest”. For “speaking too freely to a child.”
Sure. Maybe. He was 12 and possibly wanting a few more Disney years. Heck, I was 47 and I wanted a few more Disney years.
What I did not want was any more lies. And more concealed truths. I wanted “heart wide open”. For ALL of us.
This morning, after a long chat yesterday, my son informed me that he had decided to “say what he needs to say.” It’s a delicate situation. It could be fragile. It could backfire. It could hurt him and it is fraught with many unknowns. There is no dodging the radar when he says what he needs to say. There is only belief. The firm and unequivocal belief that saying what he needs to say and accepting all ramifications is better … and healthier … than keeping it bottled up, behind glass, hidden away in a heart half-closed.
I have never been more proud of him.
And truth be told I have never been so proud of myself … as a mother. Because years ago I made a choice about what kind of mother I wanted to be. And I chose regardless of the nay-sayers who wanted me to NOT say what I needed to say.
I am so very very glad I made that choice.
My son (just like John):
Walking like a one man army
Fighting with the shadows in your head
Living out the same old moment
Knowing you’d be better off instead,
If you could only . . .
How many times have you uttered those two words to yourself?
Today my son torpedoed IF ONLY and said what he needed to say.
I will only take a small amount of credit. But hell yeah, I will take some. Apples and trees, right? I’m so grateful he didn’t fall too far from mine. Grateful and proud.
Say what you need to say. Heart wide open. It won’t matter if you are met with rejection, ridicule or even silence. The outcome is not yours to control. That would be manipulation.
But the truth? The truth is ALL yours.
Own it. Love it. Say it.
Say what you need to say.