“People who live in society have learnt how to see themselves,
in mirrors, as they appear to friends.
I have no friends: is that why my flesh is so naked?”
~ Jean-Paul Sartre, Nausea
We live in society. We live through relationships: with family, with friends, with the barista at Starbucks. We watch TV or scroll through the internet. Unless you live a hermit’s life in a cave on a mountaintop, you are getting input all the time about who you *should* think you are and how you *should* want to be and what you *should* believe.
Without even realizing it, we are getting programmed each and every day. We are buried under a BIG load of “woulda coulda shoulda” ~ until we can’t find our own truth under it all. It’s exhausting.
“Being in love is… anxious,” he said. “Wanting to please, worrying that she will see me as I really am.
But wanting to be known. That is… you’re naked, moaning in the dark, no dignity at all…
I wanted her to see me and to love me even though she knew everything I am, and I knew her.”
~ Audrey Niffenegger, Her Fearful Symmetry
What do you conceal?
Does what I conceal become hidden even from myself?
Each of us plays the starring role in the documentary that is our life. Like children playing dress-up, we may adopt characters in order to make a certain impression or to be accepted. Being scrutinized by another is uncomfortable, so we pretend to be someone else. There are times this tactic brings us success. Yet, when we conceal things about ourselves from ourselves, we create separation from the one person who can love and accept us the most: our very own self.
What are you willing to reveal?
Does what I reveal say more about me or more about you?
Perhaps the answer has to do with both courage and trust. Courage is required when we decide to be vulnerable and open ourselves to the possibility of criticism, judgement, and maybe even betrayal.
I must have trust in myself, who I am and what I am doing. I choose to trust you when I take the leap of faith and reveal parts of myself to you.
The topic of “Naked” has set me to asking lots of questions:
Am I more naked if I bare my body ~ or ~ if I bare my soul?
Which is titillating and which will bring true intimacy?
My body does not look like the airbrushed and photoshopped ones in the magazines. Mine bears the evidence of some of the things I’ve lived through: wrinkles, scars, veins, greying hair (though thankfully only twenty or so). I have borne children, recovered from surgeries and beaten cancer. I even have a tattoo. When I take off my clothes, I’m baring more than skin: I’m exposing part of the story of my life.
My ego-self holds my dreams and fears, my wisdom and stupidity, my forthrightness and lack of diplomacy, my pain and sorrow and grief as well as my delight and my joys. This is where I have stored all the programming of this lifetime, and done the work necessary to release all that baggage. All that I have learned through each and every one of my relationships lives here as well as each and every identity I have adopted. This is where I have done the work to heal and recognize my wholeness.
Each of these aspects of me can be stripped naked. I have laid them bare here, for you.
Which is my most authentic self?
In which do I take pride… and about which do carry shame or regret?
I have found that in order to be in integrity with myself, to be unapologetically and unequivocally me, I must be willing to be brutally honest with myself. To strip all the aspects of myself naked and really LOOK at the positives and the so-called shortcomings. To show myself compassion and loving kindness. Freedom from the fetters that bind – whether they are of my own creation or something I have adopted – can be realized in this way.
I find the Courage to stand in my own Truth and realize I wouldn’t want anything less.
And when the light within me shines, it gives yours permission to do the same.
There is one aspect of me that is already and always naked, pure: my Soul. That Divine aspect of me, the fire of my consciousness and the ground in which all things “Christy” arises. When I shed the limiting beliefs, the defeating self-talk, the circuitous reasoning and excuse making, then drop the charade, lose the mask and discard all the costumes, and decide not to care one whit what judgements might be made against me, then I can stand naked in the brilliance of the light that shines from within.
The naked Soul bears witness:
I am. That is all and everything.
“Freedom is to stand naked at the moment, having no expectations,
nothing to lose or to gain.
The empty is then fulfilled, just to be emptied again at the next moment.
The Absolute Freedom is, to become every path, at any given moment.”
~ Grigoris Deoudis
~ Invitation ~
Is it easier for you to bare your body or your soul?
What is the cost and / or reward of concealing things from others?
and, more importantly from yourself?
I am a wife and a mom, a yogi, an artist, and a writer… but not always in that order! I tend to think in collage and have trouble starting my day without coffee (black). I am a contemplative and a seeker on this wonderful, odd trip that is this human life. I love to have adventures and detest fences of any kind. Dedicated to my journal, I blog part-time at www.vignettesfrommylife.blogspot.com