That Curious Love of Green

Openness

Openness

Hello and welcome August 1st, the Gaelic Harvest Festival of Lughnasa.

I’ve been meaning for some time to share a few thoughts on openness, the opposite of secrecy, a release of ego, honesty, acceptance of experience.

It’s always been my nature to be open and I’ve always been that way with those close to me but like lots of people I learned secrecy as an idea of protection, a wrong idea as it turns out.

I think we all do that to some extent especially if like me you’ve experienced bullying, but something clicked and in recent years I said to myself that I didn’t want to be anything other than completely open anymore.

I started to see the inherent poison that is secrecy, the freedom openness would bring not just for me but for society as a whole and well, you know how I feel about freedom.

Starting a blog was a perfect opportunity to practice openness. It was scary, putting myself out there because I knew once I started I couldn’t pretend, the blog would be me. So that and then turning 40, which by the way why didn’t anyone tell me getting older would be so great? I absolutely love it, though don’t hold me to that. I reserve the right to change my mind down the road but no one ever says when your’re 20, ‘Oh you think your’re happy now but wait till your 40,’ do they?

People who don’t know me sometimes say, ‘You don’t really dress like that, eat like that all the time?’ ‘You can’t be this positive?’ Well I do and I am, that is the real me but I find it funny when people are negative about positivity and what they perceive as an image. There’s a widely held idea that if your presenting this way it’s fake but by moaning and wearing a hoodie your’re somehow more real.

mask
W.T Benda for Life Magazine 1923

 

When it comes down to it I think we all know when someone is being their authentic self, and there really is no substitute for the ‘real’ thing, no matter what it is. I know when I read a blog post or an article or just talk to someone open it makes me feel better about me and my life, don’t you find that? When I talk to someone who is closed, who is wearing a mask I tend to shut down too.

Writing the blog has made me more free. Openness is contagious, when you open up you give others permission to say they feel the same or just be who they are. There’s less judgement, connections are made, you learn your’re not crazy, well no crazier than anyone else.

For a long time in Ireland we lived in a closed society and as we know only too well the repercussions of that are secrecy, loneliness, depression, mis-understanding, judgement, malignant shame, protection for abusers, for those in positions of power. This is why I believe in openness, it lifts veils of secrecy, thwarts misplaced protections.

The truth is we can’t hide. By wearing a mask we’re not fooling or helping anyone and most likely we’re hurting ourselves because deep down we’re all the same, we’re all crazy and we’re all wonderful.

I think it goes back to knowing and understanding yourself so you can move forward, beat bullies, heal if you need to, forgive if you need to, let go, change, MOVE and if your’re not being true to yourself what are you teaching your children?Β At the end of the day the danger with wearing a mask long enough is you risk losing the person behind it.

If you haven’t already why not give it a whirl this weekend, let yourself say/do what you really think/want to. Let the anxiety and exhilaration of that hit you. Look silly, feel silly, feel embarrassed, risk not being cool, say sorry or don’t, say no, say yes! Say itΒ out loudΒ and feel the release, the freedom that comes of it.

and live
Click image for source link

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this so please feel free to share in comments. Have a fabulous weekend out there πŸ™‚

Disclaimer: No hoodie’s were harmed in the making of this blog post



10 thoughts on “Openness”

  • “At the end of the day the danger with wearing a mask long enough is you risk losing the person behind it”. That is so profound and true and scary when you realise it is happening. What a powerful beautiful post. Thank you Jane.

    • Thanks so much Mary, I never know what will strike a chord and usually hang dithering over the ‘post’ button but turns out I’m never alone in these thoughts. Thank you for taking the time to comment πŸ™‚

  • Well said Emily, perfectly timed post Jane! I can also say that Jane is precisely as she seems on her Blog, a lovely, positive & life-affirming soul to have around, she’s funny too (but that’s just a bonus!!)

    Jane, I’m always amazed how open & honest you are on your Blog, you really do give yourself nowhere to hide sometimes, which is why I think it deserves to be so popular. There’s a bravery I think to being open, which I’m not sure I possess! πŸ™‚

    One of the best things I think about the internet, is that now there are no places for the powers that be to hide, the public are now monitoring & photographing & “sharing” everything. So many bad stuff is coming to light that we think the world is getting worse, but it’s just that now the world is more “open”.

    A really thought provoking post Jane, thank you! xo

    • Aw shucks, thanks for the lovely complements Kerry πŸ™‚ I agree you have to brave to be ‘open’ but then who’s braver than you? Look at all you’ve had to deal with! I’m an open book alright, nothing to hide! However I’m not a ‘tell all’ and don’t think that’s for me. I suppose I feel the things I’m being open about are not so personal but the kind of thing that’s common whether we choose to say them out loud or not. Makes me feel more powerful to be open than not, scares the hell out of people hahaha!
      You raise an interesting point about there being ‘nowhere to hide’ thanks to social media with Gaza being a good case in point for the plus side of how it can reveal truth. Thanks for your lovely words, I’m not used to being popular!!!

  • Brava my friend. Well said. I couldn’t agree more with any and all of this. I laughed when you mentioned how people are suspicious of positivity. You know I’m also an open book. And I too discovered that when you open up, you discover that you are no crazier than anyone else. HA. Cheers and Slainte to all the bloggers I can think of and their families for putting up with them.
    Lovely,
    Shalagh

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