Soul Advice Column – Opening up to Life

Dear Lindsay,

I want to open up more to life. I want to feel it, to not hold back from it. How can I reach that level?

Let me give an example: When I play with dogs, I feel like I can’t do it with the passion and full-energy of others, like something is holding me back.

How can I open up more to life itself? I love this world, and I don’t want to hold myself back.


Dear O.B.,

First let me say, there is nothing inherently wrong with holding yourself back from life. We’ve all done it at some point. It’s a natural human tendency that comes from living in a modern society and being raised by parents and teachers who wanted us calm and compliant. I completely relate to your experience.

Some of us were shamed as children for being so joyful and showing an exuberance for life. It made others uncomfortable because it highlighted all the areas where they themselves were holding back from life.

Our parents, teachers, and even other children may have told us we were “too much” or our joy for life was “childish.” This experience is common and nothing to be ashamed of.

Your soul is inviting you to accept and embrace these parts of you that feel they need to hold back from life. You soul is asking you to accept that they’re there. They are valid parts of you that only want the healing that your awareness of them brings. That’s all you have to do. The light of your consciousness, your awareness, is all the healing those parts of you ever need or want.

Now that you’ve chosen to open up more to life, you will start to become aware of the parts of yourself that feel like they can’t. They’re doing it for a reason – maybe it keeps them feeling safe, connected to their family, or maybe it prevents them from standing out and being seen. Either way, they hold you back for a reason so acknowledging their existence is the first step.

Don’t worry about figuring out why these parts are holding you back. Your soul simply asks you to be open to allowing these parts of you to come into your awareness and then step back. Your soul will bring them into your awareness at the perfect pace and timing. You don’t have to do anything.

What does becoming aware of those parts look like? You’re going to start feeling them – all their thoughts and emotions. Something will trigger you and you’ll feel their pain, fear, shame, or sadness. You’ll hear all their thoughts and stories. And that’s how you heal them. You bring them into your adult awareness and you let them be there. You accept their presence as a very real part of yourself.

And that’s it. That’s how they integrate back into you and become whole, or healed.

As you integrate these parts, you’ll feel much more free. You’ll slowly start to feel more able to express your joy for life and you’ll be able to do things you once held yourself back from.

It’s a process that doesn’t happen all at once, but it starts with the courage to open up to your emotions and feelings. Your soul says you’re more than ready to start.

Your soul promises you this: You won’t die from feeling these emotions. You are ready and you can handle it. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be here asking this question.

You are so wise to be aware that you are holding yourself back from life and you are so brave to choose to live differently.



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