Being naked is easy. Posting pictures on the internet of your naked body is less easy, but still, not too hard. After thirty-plus days of doing this daily practice, I have realized that while this is a challenge, this is not what is truly challenging.
The true challenge in any life is to be yourself, unapologetically. The hard thing is to ask for what you want, to ask for help. To admit to your short comings. To demand respect.
Your naked body? That is not really you, that is the thing that covers you. Your mind, your heart, your dreams, desires and fears? Those are you.
It is hard to claim them though. It is not a destination, it is a constant practice, it is a constant gut check to speak for yourself.
Just yesterday I was telling a friend that as far as some of my colleagues are concerned, it is like I have no expertise in my job. Though I have years and years of experience, though I have proven myself over and over again in my various professions, to some people, it is like I am in fifth grade, incapable of making decisions or understanding complex problems. He asked me if I thought it was sexism. I have to admit, for a long time, I did. But after having the experience so often in my life, after having to deal with people who belittle or betray me for whatever reason, I have to say that in a certain way, the reason they do it is beside the point.
I have come to see that it doesn't matter what motivates people to do the things they do, even if it is disrespectful, abusive, or otherwise. Understanding the motivation of people who belittle me grants them too much of my energy. The question I have come to, and what I come to more and more, is what I do with that. And what I do with that has very much to do with who I am, who I work towards being every single day.
I work towards resilience. I work towards compassion. I work towards radical self-acceptance. These are my values, and the people who shit on me? They are my practice. They are the people who give me the work to do so that I might grow stronger, so that some day, I might not even notice their bullshit.
That is why I know that being naked is easy. Taking my clothes off and posing, coming up with phrases and words that express my point of view, this has become my practice in metaphors. Some day I hope to say that it is easy to deal with the people who belittle me. Some day I hope to say "people belittle me? Really?"
Today is not that day. But I work toward it. I work toward it by doing the hard thing; trying to grow beyond it. Recognizing it as OPP (Other People's Problems). Thinking, when I run into someone who treats me disrespectfully, that they must not know how awesome I am. That is what I do today to challenge myself. That is what I will do until I can say someday that this, like being naked, is easy.
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