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One Little Word: November 2020 Update

I’m joining with Honoré today to share a new monthly update on my One Little Word, Open.

I wish I could say this word was done with me but it appears I am still learning lessons about being open. I suppose, given the ways I learned to protect myself as a child and given that I carried those ways into adulthood and used them repeatedly, being open is going to be the work of a lifetime for me. And, you know? I think I’m finally okay with that.

If I’ve learned anything at all about these words and how and why they come into my life, I’ve learned that fighting them is futile, that accepting them is the first step in understanding them, and that embracing them whenever possible is always going to make my life better.

So. Even though I still, and perhaps always will, equate open with vulnerability, I’m learning to see the growth that comes when I allow myself to be open. Open to new experiences. Open to change. Open to all feelings, even the difficult ones. And, best of all, open to the full experience of life and love.

This Post Has 13 Comments

  1. I think you’ve discovered that open is not the same as vulnerable. From my perspective, being open means being courageous because it means welcoming change and opportunity. It’s an active process, whereas vulnerability is more passive. I hope it’s been a meaningful word to you.

  2. It sounds like open has been a valuable word for you this year and I thank you for sharing your experience. I used to think it was possible to “learn” a word and be done with it, but like you, I may always have focus as one of my key words.

  3. This quote keeps showing up for me, so much so that I have written it down! “Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change.” Brene Brown.

    Maybe being vulnerable is not the worst place to be. What a year to be “open” though, oh boy.

  4. These words really are a *part* of our lives–that don’t drop off, necessarily, on December 31. I have a few that I know will forever be a part of every day, for better or worse. But more for the better, really.

  5. It’s really amazing what an impact “one little word” can have. It’s been an honor being a part of your journey. xo

  6. I don’t think we are ever done with overcoming early programming and adoption of coping mechanisms. I think our highest achievements in life are recognizing them, evaluating them, deciding where they work for us and where they do not, and modifying our automatic behaviors. I think that, like Bonny, you have done a fantastic job of working on your word during a very stressful year, which is quite an accomplishment. Nothing is harder in life than acknowledging and changing our own behavior.

  7. I like what you have to say about accepting the word that comes. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I’ve learned from reading them.

  8. Beautiful, Carole. I am struck – yet again! – reading these posts just how powerful these words can be when we let them in. 2020 was certainly not the year any of us expected, and I think our words helped us make the best of some really bad things. I can’t imagine how you would’ve coped with Dale’s injury, for one, without the invitation to being open and vulnerable. (all that said, sure hoping 2021 brings easier lessons!)

  9. I just love your last line! You have been through more this year that most of us. May your (and our) next year be smoother than this year has been!

  10. I think you’ve done great with your OLW, and being and staying open is vital for personal growth.

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