I’m sure it will come as no surprise to hear that since I chose “0pen” as my 2013 word of the year, it would pop up all over the place. Even when I wasn’t looking for it. Sometimes gently slipped in a conversation or on a page where we’d least expect to see it. Other times resonating with a bang such as while I was reading the “Do You Know I am Hesitant?” chapter in Do You Know Who I Am? by Angela Thomas. Really got me thinking about what it means to live with open hands. Not just about giving and being generous but also about holding things loosely, not closing in to make a fist, and keeping them open to receive.
To take nothing away from the utter joy and tremendous good that comes from lavishing people with extravagant gifts of precious possessions, time, forgiveness, grace, mercy, love, praise, compassion, second chances, benefit of the doubt… what really struck me was the generosity involved in receiving. It took me for a loop when I realized that was my area of stinginess. Seems the only things I’ve had trouble sharing were my heartaches and needs. Not wanting to burden, impose, or spoil a party, I sometimes tucked them safely away inside curled fingers leaving little space for anyone to reach in and give their love, support, understanding, and help to the “strong one”. Blew me away the other day when someone very dear to me revealed “it hurts me more when you don’t tell me if something’s wrong.” What an eye-opener! I thought I was doing the right thing. As it turns out, I learned that entrusting people with the hard stuff and opening our hands real wide to accept what others want to give and do for us can be an amazingly generous gift.
So what can we make of what it means to live with open hands? I believe it’s about letting go and not holding back. Being ready to hand things over and take things in. In essence it’s about giving and receiving. With an open, fearless, generous heart.
What comes to mind when you think about living with open hands?-Many thanks to Megan, the beautiful volleyball diva who opened her hands for the “Live with Open Hands” image in this post!