Being open-minded is critical for your growth. If you cannot exist open-minded, then you do not possess your ideas, your ideas possess you. Opening yourself to the possibility that you are wrong may make you feel vulnerable, but it is empowering because this is how we learn. When you are not willing to be challenged, disturbed or offended, you are not willing to explore your weaknesses or ever claim the potential of greater strengths. Challenge yourself. Be defiant; defy yourself. Challenge authority; the authority of your rational convictions! Think back to how many times you knew you were right about something or someone, only to find out later in life you had been wrong. This is a common pattern that repeats itself, and at the moment, it is nearly impossible to detect that it is happening. This is the problem with being short-sighted; it is hard to see. We all do this constantly! This is why it is so important to make a conscious and continual effort to be open-minded. Next time you are positively and sure, attempt the practice of releasing surety and opening yourself to the possibility that you are wrong, or that you do not understand the full picture. Open yourself to the possibility that you and your opponent are both right according to your own experiences and worldviews. Take a hard stance for broadness and understanding.
“If you are irritated by every rub, how will your mirror be polished”? – Rumi
Moments of challenge are the greatest blessings in your life; they are your chance for rapid expansion and deepening of your understanding. Whatever makes you uncomfortable is your biggest opportunity for growth. The greater the discomfort, the greater the learning potential. The more something upsets you, the more it is meant for you. When it no longer upsets you, it is no longer needed because the lesson is complete. When turmoil and upset transcend to clarity and resolve, your suffering and the suffering of others take on purpose beyond what seems like senseless pain. Every tragedy has a lesson equal in significance to its heartbreak. How you channel your justifiable upset – positively or negatively – determines the degree to which you waste your life force or mount your verve into the worthy endeavour. And then there is useless common drama, stubbornness, and ignorance. Most of the petty upset we experience is unnecessary reactivity that can and should be tamed. Petty upset is a sign of a crude and unrefined personality, intellect, and spirituality. Petty upset is a sloppy waste of emotional energy; it is toxic and is often an inner-obstacle to seeing reality. Most inner-obstacles are not overcome because they are seen as natural, ordinary and justifiable. You have to understand your inner obstacles for the inhibiting barriers they truly are to move beyond them. The time to evolve and question your emotions is when you are feeling challenged. You cannot practice being open in a moment of no challenge. Don’t be afraid of changing your mind.
“When you follow your bliss … doors will open where you would not have thought there would be doors, and where there wouldn’t be a door for anyone else” – Joseph Campbell
Modifying your mind can move you into another dimension. Passages can materialize exposing a hidden world that was there all along. But there is no passage for a closed mind and heart. The expansion of your world, and, your reality – expands and contracts with the arch of your mind and heart. A broad mind and heart inherit a broad and wonderful world; a narrow mind and heart suffocate in the tiny cage of their making. Empowerment is often little more than noticing what was once unnoticed and finding what was always there!