Thursday, April 21, 2011

getting naked
Main Entry: naked
Part of Speech: adjective
Definition: without covering
Synonyms: au naturel, bald, bare, bare-skinned, bared, barren, defenseless, denuded, disrobed, divested, exposed, helpless, in birthday suit, in dishabille, in the altogether, in the buff, in the raw, leafless, natural, nude, open, peeled, raw, stark-naked, stripped, threadbare, unclad, unclothed, unconcealed, uncovered, undraped, undressed, unprotected, unveiled, vulnerable

Most of us seek intimacy, a way to be completely 'us' in front of, and with, another. To be, as it were, naked, and still safe in our vulnerability.
And so as we start new relationships, especially second time around (when we are so much older and wiser and more discerning!), the process of stripping away our outer layers to uncover the true inner self begins.
We start by facing each other (or maybe even staying side by side and taking cautious glances. Fully dressed, possibly with even more on than we would normally wear. Slowly, piece by piece we remove parts of our coverings.
Occasionally it happens too fast - one, or both, get naked way to quick - it's fun, sometimes, but is often the quickest route to failure. Vulnerability takes time!
Sometimes we 'take something off' only to find it makes us too uncomfortable, or disquiets the other person, and we either put it back on(and quickly!) or find our selves in a place of having to confront a piece of ourselves, or them, that isn't quite as pretty as it looked covered up (or maybe it's more beautiful than we even imagine - thats the risk!).
Slowly slowly, we become more and more naked and authentic and real. Sometimes what we discover about ourselves leads us to get dressed again! Sometimes the view in front of us is not the one we expected or wanted.

But, with some time, and luck, and patience, and restraint, we can find ourselves together, facing each other, naked and unashamed.

Surely that is the path to true intimacy.

NB a wonderful evening spent with a gorgeous friend who has recently embarked on an exciting new relationship. the conversation turned, as oft it does, to how those of us on the 'second time round' approach new partnering, how our old baggage always seems to be there just waiting to be tripped over, how much more exacting, cynical, picky (read choosy!), realistic we are. he used the analogy of getting undressed in front of your beloved...this blog is my version of our conversation - I unashamedly steal his premise and turn it into my own soliloquy.

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