Why we choose closed
It’s easy to be closed. It isn’t as overt as you might think it is. In fact most people are closed and don’t even know it. It tends to be what we think of as our natural state of being. Comfortable and familiar to us, being closed keeps us contained and in our own little bubble of existing and feeling like we know what’s going to happen. In contrast, openness feels more spacious, vulnerable and mysterious. When we are open we can feel ourselves and others. Often people have a negative relationship with feeling, especially if the feeling that’s present isn’t a “good” one. This is why we close, and sometimes stay closed for most of our entire life.
When we are closed we can avoid feeling the fullness of “bad” things or feelings. While on the surface this might seem advantageous to you (which is why so many do this), but when viewing from the bigger picture of your life it’s quite disadvantageous. The first reason it is disadvantageous is that when you are closed, and are unable to be feel, you lose connection with your guidance system and therefore yourself. Feeling is guidance. It’s your beeline to your higher self. Emotions tell us how to proceed forward on our path and which choices to take. What to say yes to and what to say no to. When you can’t feel you will often have the experience of being lost, confused or stuck. You can call this disconnection, and a sense of not knowing how to move forward or what actions to take in your life. The second reason being closed is disadvantageous is that when you are closed you can’t feel the bad or the good, so your experience of life flattens. It’s like being kind of numb. You might sort of feel things, but your range of feeling is limited. Most days and experiences feel ordinary (aka non-magical). You go through the motions of life, feeling human and like a separate person from other people. Again you might not even know that things could be, or are, different than this. It’s just your normal known state of existing or being in the world. You don’t feel particularly bad, but you also don’t feel particularly good.
Being closed feels protective. It is a defense mechanism that we learn in order to not experience impact. This is important when we don’t have the inner resources or awareness to be with that impact, and when we’ve either lost touch with ourselves or don’t yet know ourselves. Examples of this are when we are infants, toddlers or young children and we had experiences that were too painful, scary or confusing to feel. This is when we develop protective mechanisms. Nearly all people are still functioning in their day to day life using these strategies. This is why there is so much disconnect from self, others, animals, the planet, and the universe at large. It’s why we feel separate and why people are often oblivious to their impact on self or others, or exceptionally vigilant to it. It’s because we aren’t feeling or are afraid of feeling “bad” things. It is not wrong. It’s simply the stage of the game we are personally and collectively at; that is until we choose different.
Good, bad and everything in between
It really isn’t as bad as you might think it is to feel things that don’t feel good. In fact it’s rather freeing and liberating, but we aren’t there quite yet. From where we are now it might seem scary to feel because you don’t know what will happen if you do. Some people create stories that they will never stop feeling bad once they start. That they will enter a bottomless pit of despair and suffering with no way out. Others fear attracting more bad feelings to themselves. Still others know that if they feel what they are feeling then something will need to change and they aren’t ready for that change yet. Then there are those people that simply don’t even recognize that they are feeling. All they know is that they don’t feel on par. Maybe they have pain in their body, or things aren’t going how they would like them to be going in their life. Maybe they feel irritated or they don’t sleep well. Perhaps they have digestive issues or skin problems. What we are feeling will manifest into our physical experience if we don’t feel it in our emotional bodies. Feeling will do whatever it can to get our attention and find its expression, because remember feeling is nothing more than guidance, and our higher self wants nothing more earnestly than to guide us on this journey.
Bad feelings have really gotten a bad rap. There is an important distinction here between having a negative disposition on life and feeling bad feelings. Bad feelings don’t equal having a negative outlook, that is unless you don’t feel them. See many people that are angry, anxious or depressed, are so because they aren’t feeling, not because they are. This is opposite to what most people believe. Most people think that the people that seem generally negative on life must be feeling bad things all of the time, but what’s actually happening is that they are avoiding feeling bad things. That is why they are angry, anxious and depressed. When we feel bad feelings we liberate energy, and this feels good. We get less angry, anxious and depressed rather than more. We open rather than stay closed, and because openness is our true natural state of being, it feels good. We feel connected even if we are feeling something bad.
People that you view as having a generally positive disposition on life are regularly feeling bad things. This is how they can stay positive. It would otherwise be very challenging to do so because so much energy would be bound up in their system. Bound energy is closed, looped, tight and distorted. To have the courage to feel is to be honest with what’s present. It’s to be authentic with what is. It’s the opposite of spiritual bypassing, which is to have a kind of “false” positive disposition. It’s to say everything is great when you aren’t actually experiencing great. There is an incongruence there, it’s inauthentic, and it’s ok. It’s simply another protective mechanism to not feel bad feelings, because for some reason you view them as less spiritual.
To be open is to allow all. Nothing needs fixed or changed. All is allowed and all is ok. It’s not hard to feel bad things when they arise, but it does take a practice of slowing down and paying attention to yourself. When you are in the doing mode of life, you are often not focused on your feeling body. This is when you don’t even know that you are feeling, or you notice that something is off, but don’t want to take the time to stop and feel it. Feeling might feel foreign to you at first, but I promise with a little attention to it, it’s not as mysterious as it might seem. The reward in it, is you being connected to yourself again. It’s to have more guidance and clarity. It’s to be able to feel life, yourself, others, and to have connection to all of existence on this planet and inside this universe. It’s to have passion for life and to act in alignment and integrity with yourself, your path and your calling.
Dr. Amanda Love, Chiropractor, Network Spinal Analysis & Somato-Respiratory Integration, Boulder, Colorado