We don’t want to be emotionally naked without careful discrimination any more than we would want to be physically naked in an unsafe environment or relationship.
Self-protection is a very human instinct, one at which we are universally proficient. Yet when you can be intimate with a trusted other, there is no need for a disguise.
One of the most important reasons I wrote this book is because I am fascinated by how we become more whole by finding ways to be naked emotionally with trusted people in safe places. Becoming whole implies becoming more of who you are meant to be, more unapologetically yourself. And becoming whole is inextricably twined with being fully seen by another. There has to be a witness. You can be physically naked by yourself, but being emotionally naked alone serves no purpose, no true revealing. It must be a relational experience with a trusted other.
Breaking Out of Your Self-imposed Prison.
You have created your own prison from time to time in life. You may have things you are afraid to share that may be shaming, hurtful, or just plain uncomfortable. But you also have some beautiful and unique desires that you may have kept under lock and key.
You’ve already read how important and necessary is to have a safe place to be when needed, but that does not have to feel like prison. You will learn in this chapter how to express any unshared parts of your life and how to experience living on purpose when it leads to emotional freedom and a more fulfilling and complete human experience.
- Humans have a lack of connection to others and purpose. Many of us have acquaintances and friends, but we don’t really feel connected to meaning and purpose.
- There is a shortage of listening. We need people in our life that can really hear us, both what we need to say and to evoke from us what we are not saying, and to speak it out loud to a committed listener.
Each of us looks for fulfillment and authentic happiness in our own way. According to Carl Jung, life purpose and spiritual searching most often emerges in midlife after we have experienced a variety of life’s ages and stages.
Steps to Create a Place of Balance and Personal Power
- Think of the most beautiful place you have ever been. Go there in your imagination, and pay attention to all details of sound, visual, and emotional feelings in that place. Then go there in your mind whenever you need to be energized or calmed. This is your place of power, security, and centering.
- Create a centering routine that you can do effortlessly, for example, a daily walk in nature, bicycling, Tai Chi, yoga, inspirational reading and journaling, or meditating. What else can you choose to have available to you to do routinely?
- Complete this wheel of life exercise every few months. Check in with yourself on your various levels of satisfaction and not where you might need to give greater attention and action.
- Take time for self for extreme self-care, quiet, and self-reflection.
- Embrace and welcome change. It is what it is, and change is constant.
- Believe in serendipity. Things do happen for a reason, but we don’t always know the reason until we figure it out.
Read more in my book:
Getting Naked: On Emotional Transparency at the Right Time, the Right Place, and with the Right Person: Ways to Uncover Your Authentic Self at Work, Home, in Relationships, and Life