In this day and age, many of us view intimacy as the physical act of love, sex or being bodily naked with another. Whilst intimacy can absolutely be experienced in this manner, it is in actual fact the ability to allow another to see what is inside of us – into-me-you-see.
So many of us walk in this world in protection mode, scared of showing who we truly are in fear of being rejected, to be found lacking. Throughout life, we receive messages that who we intrinsically are is not good enough, that we have to change our natural inclinations in order to ‘fit in’ and be accepted. It happens innocently from birth – we’re told – don’t do that, that’s not ‘right’, there’s a good girl, walk that way, don’t speak in that tone, quieten down, she’s shy, he’s brave and ad infinitum. We therefore learn to adhere to these messages, dumbing ourselves down and building an identity that we deem appropriate and befitting for others and to the outside world. We ignore our intuition and natural inclinations, tweaking our behavior, changing our language and swallowing down our words, therefore presenting a very different Self to the world to that which we experience alone by ourselves.
Within this distortion of ourselves, we hide our fears, our true feelings, our strong emotions (for they’re ‘too much’ for others), our heartfelt desires, visions, dreams and aspirations, allowing them only to be experienced by the therapist, or expressed in their distortion as we act out in misplaced anger when it gets ‘too much’ and the pot boils over. We become adept at this distortion, masters of disguise and whilst we find it possible to walk in the world this way, it is exhausting and allows us only to exist rather than to truly live, resplendent in all we are, showing our many colours, regardless of the perceived protocol or our idea of what is acceptable.
For this is what naked truly means – to be visible with all your ‘stuff’ on display, brazenly shedding the cloak of the heavy, false Self, removing the mask and risking being transparent and seen in all your splendour and magnificence. And when we move in the world this way, we give others permission to do the same. This is where intimacy takes place – when you allow another inside and are truly interested in knowing them also.
We can experience friendship without wearing our insides, outside (!) for sure and I am not suggesting we open ourselves at every given opportunity and to everyone who crosses our path (there’s a time and a place and discernment is key!) but if we truly want to experience true and deep relationships and connections with others, we must be willing to risk being seen in all our glory – allow others to connect with the true you and not simply with the version of yourself that shrouds you, obscuring the beauty that’s within.
I get that we’ve been hurt and I understand that rejection hasn’t felt so great in the past, but the past is simply that, it’s gone and if you’re looking to upgrade and have the full, magnificent experience of what it means to be human on this awesome planet, fully alive, radiant and shining brightly, then it’s time to take a risk. It’s time to peer above the parapet, remove the mask and allow the world to see YOU. Yes, it may feel a little alien and uncomfortable at first, but growth will always come with a few growing pains and this is what this is, growth. It’s showing up in life true to form and reaping the rewards that mirrors this type of commitment and behaviour and I assure you, it will be worth it as you come to experience a freedom that was beyond your previous imagination.
So if you want the full 3 course meal instead of dining on yesterday’s leftovers, take a risk and quite simply, let’s get naked! : )