Self-Care Challenge (Day 342): Staying Open

Sunlight peeking through the trees

Our thoughts really do become our reality.

And that became evident yesterday when I did something completely out of character: I reopened a door that I had just closed.

With my newly adopted 2017 theme words in the forefront of my mind (beauty and openness), I noticed myself prying open a door that I had just slammed after feeling incredibly hurt by someone’s stinging words.

Historically, I would have thrown away the key before I ever entertained the idea of cracking it open again, but this time I felt compelled to explore another possibility. Instead of pushing this person away, I wanted to know why they chose the words they did, why they felt it was necessary to cast their negative emotions my way, and what exactly was behind that emotion.

As a highly sensitive person (HSP), hurtful words and behaviors linger with me for a long time. As a result, over the years I’ve learned to remove myself from groups or individuals who seem to thrive on negative energy. The stress I experience takes a serious toll on my well-being.

While I understand that our behaviors toward others usually relate more to how we feel about ourselves than anything else, it’s still difficult to absorb in the moment.

(And by the way, encouraging HSP’s to “grow a pair” or “toughen up” or anything that suggests being sensitive isn’t okay is like telling a bird to pretend to be a crocodile. We are who we are; we cannot change our inner truth anymore than a non-HSP can.)

I can already tell this year isn’t going to be easy. Remaining open when I’d rather return to safety is going to require a lot of work. It’s going to mean listening more, expressing more empathy, and staying put rather than running. And it’s also going to force me to be honest with myself about my own (often incorrect) perceptions.

“There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.”

– Leonard Cohen

Openness means being willing to experience uncomfortable truths that don’t align with my own.

(After writing and publishing this post, I later realized that I had already published a post (Day 287) with the exact same title and topic. I guess that’s further proof that I need some work in this area.)  


Stacy Fisher-Gunn
Stacy Fisher-Gunn

I'm a Self-Care Coach, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Certified Diabetes Educator, Author, and Founder of Living Upp. This community is a reflection of my desire to create an inspiring gathering place for people who want to explore self-care and live up to their fullest potential.

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