I was going to title this post, “Get Naked With Me,” which would have been enticing enough, but probably not exactly fulfilling, because I’m not getting skin-naked.
I mean, it’s certainly quite vulnerable to take off all our clothes and show our body to someone else, especially if it’s not ‘perfect’ by social standards. But that’s not the kind of naked I’m interested in today.
Today I’m interested in the kind of ‘naked’ that bares our heart and soul. It is the kind of ‘naked’ that comes from telling the truth.
I started this blog as a place to tell my truth. I was going through the Sex Surge at the time, trying to make sense of it, trying to understand how I could be attracted to other people besides my husband, trying to deal with my sexual and sensual energy, and other musings about how I see the world and what I believe and I how I live on a day-to-day basis. It’s been a place where I can be completely open about myself + who I am + what I think because I don’t have to defend myself if I don’t want to (I hate getting in fights. Hate.).
I’ve talked about what it’s like to be lost.
How many of us speak ‘trauma’ as native language.
Growing into the truth of my Wild Heart.
The difficulty and beauty of letting go.
Learning to accept my own desire (a hard-won truth!).
[And sometimes just the truth of what’s on my iPod and why.]
And getting naked in this way – telling my truth – has always been good for my soul.
When we tell the truth, it gives us space inside our minds and hearts. We are free because we are clear. There is no lugging the truth around, hidden behind us, anymore. It feels good.
This is not to say that telling the truth isn’t difficult or ugly. Sometimes the truth is ugly. Sometimes the truth is difficult to say.
I think of the truths we have to say in intimate relationships that are ugly or difficult.
I think of the truths that have been said about racism, sexism, and systemic oppressions of all sorts- terribly ugly and difficult, but so very necessary.
I think of the truths so many of us have told about our families, truths which distance us from them forever.
I think of the truths so many of us have not even admitted to ourselves- about what we truly think or feel- and how that keeps our soul in the shadow.
Some of us run from other truths that might bring us joy, because they will first mean ugliness and difficulty, perhaps destruction. But that makes them no less true, and not telling them leaves us no better off.
I am a big fan of telling the truth, of going naked with our heart and soul. Because, even if it is ugly or difficult, I have only seen good come from it in the end.
For instance, when I read the truth of BIWOC online, and I see my part in their pain, it’s not fun (I feel like the most spiritually ugly person there is when I realize how I have participated in the oppression of many others), but it has always lead to me trying to do better, to be better. I know it has been healing for these same women to share their truths (for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is finding community and support by doing so).
When I have told the ugly truth to a friend who can listen with love, I have always felt better. When I am the one to listen, I always feel it is a great honor to witness someone else’s truth. Because I have chosen to tell the truth about my own darkness, it is so much easier to hold that space for others- I really don’t mind listening to your darkness.
By the same token, when I have told joyful truth, when I have heard joyful truth from others it is always a beautiful thing. When someone speaks their truth about what is in their heart, that is a miracle- like a bird set free, in its proper place in the world.
Of course, getting naked like this takes practice. Takes courage. Takes having a safe place to do it. Sometimes that’s the arms of a friend, sometimes that’s just standing by the ocean, screaming our truth into the waves. But telling the truth has always been a boon for me and those I know.
Telling your truth, getting naked with your heart, is good for the soul. I promise.
May you have a safe place to tell your truth, to get heart-naked.
Joanna :: xoxo