Wide Open

I sat on the stone bench to watch what promised to be another stunning sunset over the ocean, to watch the people gathering for an uncommonly clear and sunny November evening on the Oregon Coast. Two women soon asked if they could join me. They were both from Ireland and met and became friends after moving here to the States.

I enjoyed listening to the romance of their accents as they talked, our conversation went in various directions and eventually lead to asking about what I do. One waxed philosophical about what we’re really doing here, then remembered a friend who wrote his philosophy to her—”the purpose of life…more life.” Indeed.

They talked about a friend who longed for love in her life, multiple lifetimes, and one talked about becoming guarded after friendships had ended.

It’s a natural response, or at least a learned one, and can serve its purpose for a time. But eventually, or even instantly, our greater response is to open to more life, more love, more self, feeling the intensity of life’s moments rather than shutting off to them.

If anything makes us want to put up guards, it is the wounds of love. From childhood and parental love, friend love, lover love, spousal love, business love. We are want to put up our guards and construct “reasonable” means for how we live afterward.

A child decides he is unwanted and unlovable, in exile even while living with his family. A lover goes apathetic when she feels unmet. A business loses its passion for want of personal power to create. Or becomes the hiding place to substitute accomplishment and self-reliance for the vulnerability to love again. A man chooses to remain uncommitted rather than risk the depth of intimacy in oneness that would pull him deeply into his divine masculinity beyond what he can ‘control.’ A woman decides her divine feminine isn’t worth the risk of being opened to love.

We are wired to live wide open, giving and receiving love in its various forms, to dissolve our perceptions, concepts, beliefs, and wounds for ever more bliss.

We indeed create the world we talk about, imagine, spend our dollars on, politicize, settle for, heal within ourselves, dwell on, complain about, intend, act on, guard ourselves from, and live. And if we listen carefully to ourselves, feel intently, we will hear the shields and guards we have erected within, subtly or not so subtly revealing themselves.

If not there, our relationships with people, our work, ourselves, provide the mirrors to what we have decided isn’t possible. And what is.

A wide-open heart is unbounded, not unboundaried. It knows itself, trusts itself. Loves freely. It also knows what it will not stand for, allow in, or give its energy to. In its love it is protected. It is intently creating and purposeful in feeling fully and enjoying life.

For this our wounds were made. To point us to where we have contracted and transform to open those spaces to more life. Where our wide open hearts are the protectors and creators of a fierce and well boundaried, yet unbounded love for life.

~Shelley Hawkins

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