The Art of opening up your Soul

Many of us – and I have to admit I am no exception to it – tend to use only our brain in our daily communication with others. For the majority of topics that we have to deal with, there is nothing wrong about that. But when it comes to our communication with friends or beloved ones, we could allow the heart – and thus our soul – to speak more freely. This statement may sound trivial and “déjá vu”, but it isn’t.

Many people build up tension, frustrations and disillusions because of unrealised expectations. And the moment that they get the opportunity to ventilate these negative feelings to an intimate friend or a beloved one, they literally dump these feelings on them, but without creating a substantial change in their own attitude. They may be feeling relieved after the conversation and be grateful for the received attention, but they only emptied their bag of frustration and pre-occupation onto the patient listener. And then they move on to fill up their bag again; day after day, week after week, month after month.

How would it feel to be able to avoid this bag being filled (so easy)? Wouldn’t it make our life somewhat easier?

Let us have a look at some mechanisms that may fill this bag.

When you get up in the morning, you may have made your plans for the day already or you have the intention to make them during your shower or at breakfast. Nothing wrong with that, after all you need some goal to achieve or some target to aim at, don’t you? So you build up expectations about what should be within reach. And when you’re lucky, you get there; maybe even within the expected time frame. Well done!!! But… what happens if you’re not so lucky and you need a lot more time or when the results aren’t as expected or… there are some unexpected hurdles or… they are not met at all or … even worse, you get results opposite to what you expected like “loss” instead of “gain”? What would be your reaction? Be honest. This kind of situation really puts you on the line and forces you to (re)act: frustration or …contemplation.

With frustration you only focus on the problem and its causes (loss, fight, etc, and your fault, his/her/their fault, misunderstanding, hurdles, pitfalls, confusion, stress, etc) and you get stuck with your bad feelings. With contemplation you accept that there is a situation that has to be cleared, but also that this situation is an opportunity to learn and… an invitation to you to step out of your preconceived ideas and create new ones. And what might these preconceived ideas be? Any kind, but the most important one is the one that makes you believe that you’re entitled to receive what you expect. Our education is based on this mechanism and we’re being motivated to put all necessary effort to achieve our goals. Achieving the goal becomes the only parameter for success, reward and satisfaction.

Be careful not to misunderstand what I would like to pass on: although there is no problem in putting the necessary effort in a cause to achieve a goal, the action of making an automatic link between effort and success or reward and thus satisfaction is putting you in a vulnerable situation. Because when the goal fails to materialise you might put yourself in a mental position of a “loser” and lose the opportunity to feel any kind of satisfaction at all. Life is an experiment and most of all it is an invitation to try whatever you deem necessary to achieve your legitimate goal(s), this with the obvious respect for and understanding of your environment. Life will not guarantee you success, but it will provide you an opportunity to follow your own path. And walking the path itself may be even more rewarding to you than achieving the goal that you have set for yourself. The walk to the summit can be as rewarding or even more as the view up there, because no goal and expectations have been set for it and disappointment is far less possible.

When you are facing disappointment – a major or a minor one – it is normal that you are “down” for a while. We do have our feelings after all, don’t we? But do not let it spread out too long. How many people are still suffering from ancient disappointments and let these rule their lives? These people are closed up and become cautious in opening their soul to the environment because they want to avoid being hurt and rejected (again). When you have been hurt or rejected by someone in the past; who really should have an issue? You, as the one who has given, or the one who didn’t understand you and has rejected you? Who went out of line? Who passed on negative energy? And who’s stuck with it now?

If you look at yourself as a “present” to your surroundings and if you really have sent positive energy to the one who didn’t understand you, why should you be sad and carry this feeling with you all the time? You are a present to this world and if some people do not accept this present through whatever behaviour, then you should not be the one who is sad. But you should not be angry either. Allow yourself to stay positive because you have given and have mercy with the ones who did not understand (yet) the meaning of your present. The worst you may do to yourself is to close up (again) your soul because others didn’t understand you. In daily life you don’t stop walking because you’ve stumbled over a stone, do you? So, don’t stop giving because someone did not understand you as a present. Don’t let other people get you there where they possibly are: in a prison cell for their soul. But don’t avoid these people; continue to give – even if this may seem useless for now.

To open up your soul is a slow and delicate process and involves many trials and errors, like learning to walk. Have patience and show understanding. Who knows what these people have been through? Maybe they are suffering a lot, trying to get out and need your positive energy to open up. Maybe some people finally will and others won’t, but at least you have given them an opportunity. And if it happens, then this will be one of the most beautiful moments in human relationships, one that will stay with you forever: the moment of an open and smiling heart.