Depending on your personality; how you were raised and where you were raised, you may naturally be a closed or an open person.  The sanguine personality has no problem appearing open.  The melancholic has no problem appearing closed.  However, allowing others to see the real you and allowing yourself to see others for who they really are, is what true openness is all about. Your personality cannot forge that alone; it’s a choice.

Real openness takes consciousness, volition and hard work.  Most of us wear different types of masks just to survive and to feel protected from the glare of our fellow mask bearers.  We wear different masks with those who are very close than those we don’t know.  Over the years we’ve learned and practiced to automatically switch from one mask to another to be comfortable.

Yet masks block openness.  The very psychological make-up of our humanity demands masking. So openness is really about reducing the layers of masks and allowing others to see more of our reality and allowing them to share theirs with us.  That way openness becomes a two-way street.  The more open I am, the more of myself I can share with another person and the more others can share with me.  My first step is to be open with myself by letting go of my denials and insecurities.  That’s not always easy. I have a lot of things built up behind my masks and once I remove a layer I need to be patient with myself before I can attack the next layer.

Another step in being more open is to begin small.  Choose one person beside your significant other to be more open with and give yourself permission and time to build the required trust that comes with real openness.  Don’t share too much at first; just a little bit more than you typically share.  Once more trust is built; you can share more and more with time.  Eventually you can expand to other trusting people.  In the process you will learn to make better choices in your close friends and better choices in openness.  You will discover that they too will share more and then openness will have reached a new level. This calculated process of openness will also reduce your mental and emotional pressures.  You can reduce your depressing and anxious times by being more open to someone you learn to trust.

Openness is not easy but it is a huge step in your emotional growth, expansion and development.  If you are going to live authentically and bring more peace into your life, you must allow yourself to be more open about who you are, how you are and who you want to become.  After all, the less masks you were the more love will seep through.  I invite you to open up to a new level of connection by removing one layer with someone you trust.  You’ll be pleasantly surprised to be introduced to a new you.

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