Earlier in the week a girlfriend of mine shared an excellent and very poignant article about how to be naked. When I say naked, I don’t mean how to physically undress (I think most of us understand the mechanics of that) – I mean how to bare yourself emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually. To take a risk in the hopes that whomever is receiving you does so gently, sincerely, and with love. Some of us may only find one or two people to share these especially revealing moments with, but I’d argue that’s all you really need.
Well, I believe that in today’s Western culture, we spend too much time in the throes of our day-to-day theatrics. So often our behaviour, our intonation, and our appearance are dictated by circumstance. Clichés like put your best foot forward and make a good impression suggest we are more likely to thrive (socially, economically, etc.) if we work on buffing our best features. Very little time and energy is budgeted for self-work on those qualities that are perhaps not so great. And why not? Why would someone live in only 50% of who they are? (I’m just tossing a number out there. I’m not saying we’re split down the middle into “good” and “bad.”)
Those who know me best have probably heard me talk about my first experience dating myself this summer. There’s something to be said about living in that other 50% and coming to accept it as integral to who you are and why you are. I’d go so far as to say that being naked and alone is just as scary as being naked in front of someone else. With someone else, however, we forfeit the ability to script or to bail when things get too real. It’s important we identify the people that we can be naked in front of because those are our biggest and best teachers.
A few things really resonated with me as a result of that article:
- I am so grateful to have a friend like Andie. Surely each of you has someone like her in your lives, too. Someone whose inner, soulful beauty and authenticity can’t help but spill out onto their exterior. Andie: I think this has everything to do with why your art leaves such an impression. You live life with intent and mark each stretch of canvas with a piece of who you really are. …and who you really are is a star! (For those of you unfamiliar with her artwork, I highly recommend you give her Facebook page a follow.)
- This quote, which packs a lot more power than fluffy “your soul mate is the other half of your heart looking back at you” garbage. I’ve shared this on a small scale with a select few, but I think everyone deserves it:
Whether they’re a friend, sibling, parent, partner, pharmacist, dog groomer, mailman… it makes no difference.
Go out and get naked with your soul mates this week! (Again, I’m not talking physically, but hey… whatever works.)
To the hall of mirrors I’ve met along the way (you know who you are): thank you. I love you guys.