If there is one phrase that will define early 2000’s R&B, “got me open” will be it. I imagine decades from now when our grandchildren look back at our culture and our music, that phrase will be in more than few songs. In and of itself, that phrase says so much about us, the way we view love and what we consider risks.

“Got me open” is a way of saying vulnerable. It conveys falling for someone nearly to the point of madness. It expresses caring past the barbed wire fences that guard our hearts. It brings with it an implication of reluctance, that feeling this way can be ultimately dangerous, that if we were really in control, we wouldn’t allow ourselves to go this far.

I found myself thinking about the phrase this week, not in the context of my love life, but as it applies to other spaces in my life. Lately, my life has become the case study in the use of emotional intelligence- knowing when to be open and when to be closed. And though my instinct, like many, has been to shut things down and put the wall up, I am finding that letting in new experiences and seemingly ill-timed opportunities has allowed me to grow in ways I would have never thought.

Sometimes it takes an uncomfortable place for us to flourish. Sometimes we succeed in a space we never thought we could call our own. But it isn’t true all the time and sometimes we find ourselves wanting the things that used to make us feel safe. Or even worse, we find the things that used to make us feel safe doesn’t anymore.

One of the hardest things we all face is getting to the point where we need to be exposed some more. Living life closed off, opening just a crack would be painful, but when you’ve actually tried and you find that you need more air, more light, more room- well opening any further can be excruciating. But for every crack that makes you more open to attack is another area for you to stretch and grow. It may feel scary as hell to pull the blinds all the way back but it’s the only way to let the light back in.

Today, ask for wisdom to know when to be open and when to be closed. While the first cracks of light may be blinding, know you’re on your way out of that dark place.

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