No, I don’t mean you disrobe and get naked physically…that could lead to more problems if inappropriate…but I do mean get naked emotionally.
When times are tough and you feel out of our power, find a confidante, a trusted friend, or a professional to discuss what you are experiencing. The reference to being tough here, means to be courageously vulnerable, but with careful selection of when, and with whom.
Authenticity is one of the most admired and desired characteristics there is. Yet how often do we hold back from revealing our true self? Getting Naked may be just the disarming message that allows us to loosen up and learn how to be safely ourselves. People who don’t reveal anything about their selves are not trusted. Those who reveal indiscriminately and often are thought to be incompetent.
My book, Getting Naked, is not about physical nakedness. It is about being emotionally naked and transparent and spiritually vulnerable and possessing the willingness to expose one’s deepest truth. I define naked living as the ability to be vulnerable, honest, transparent, shame-free, and unburdened. Ideally, the master key here is to learn the power of being courageously emotionally transparent, at the right time, the right place and with the right person.
A choice, which confronts each of us at every moment, is this: Will we allow others to know us as we now are, or shall we instead seek to remain an enigma, wishing to be seen as something we are not? Throughout history, humans seem to have chosen the road of concealment rather than openness. This strategy all too often results in sickness, misunderstanding, and alienation of self. Getting Naked is about learning how to be open about your authentic self with the rest of the world, at least those you trust. It is about how being secretive about yourself can lead to physical, mental, and emotional sickness. Can we actually try to live healthier by being honest with our fellow humans about who we are and how we are?
Get real. Be authentic. Be courageous. Make contact and empathize. Trust and disclose yourself, and invite others to do the same. When you are honest with another and share what you have kept hidden or at least well disguised, it invokes what I call the unexpected turn. Every conversation presents the opportunity for two experiences. It is both common and predictable with no surprises and little revelatory information, or it takes an unexpected turn.
Once you are surprisingly honest with a trusted friend or colleague (or they with you), it usually leads to a more heartfelt and personally connected conversation. Granted, many conversations are just meant to be mundane and as expected, but how would it be if you sought out opportunities for self-disclosure? If you asked someone, “What are your passions or big desires? Tell me something exciting in your life” instead of our usual greeting of “How ya doing?” That would lead to more truthful and useful dialogue.
- Who in your life—living or dead—has inspired you? Does this person know that he or she had that impact?
- If this individual is still alive, tell him or her!
Dr. Pat Williams is a Master Certified Life And Wellness Coach and former psychologist. Click for more information about metaphorical nakedness and Dr. Pats new book, Getting Naked: On Emotional Transparency at the Right Time, the Right Place, and with the Right Person; available on Amazon.com, Balboa Press and Audible.com