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Monday, 24 January 2011

Naked (1)

Naked = Bare. Exposed. Vulnerable. Real.

Just watched a programme ‘How to look good naked’. The presenter takes an average woman and in a few weeks transforms the woman’s image without surgery or expensive treatments. More importantly, he transforms her wrong image of herself. A decent haircut, clothing that accentuates the figure, but more importantly accepting and loving your body is what makes the difference.

Our naked selves can be the hardest thing for a lot of us to face. If you are young or just have a perfect body, then prancing naked around your room is a breeze; but once age, pregnancy, sag, toil, stretch-marks, weight etc, take their toll, then most women would rather be clothed than seen naked. Often, we don’t even want to look at ourselves naked in a full-length mirror.

Oprah said something once that got my attention – if you can’t bear to look at yourself naked, then how on earth would you be comfortable with having anyone else look at you? I go further and say, if you cannot look at the real you, then how can you ever learn to accept yourself and love the beautiful you that God created and Jesus died for?

So for the last 14 months or so, I have made a point of looking at myself unclothed in a full-length mirror every day. At my very heaviest, that was a very tough call! However, the more I have done so, the more accepting I have become of me, flaws, lumps, bumps and all. Greater acceptance of myself has also meant the more I want to improve me to become the very best I can be. This process of self-examination in the mirror has not made me hate myself or run screaming – rather, it’s actually made me love myself more and also help push me further along my weight-loss journey.

To my Christian married friends, I go a step further. Husband and wife need to get comfortable being bare with each other. How close can a relationship be if a wife insists on the lights turned out and will not have her husband look at her in all her true beauty? How loved does a wife feel if her husband cannot stand to look at her and see that his wife is beautiful and amazing? Those stretch-marks are silvery lines of love where her skin expanded to carry and nourish your beautiful children. If a couple can bare their  bodies before each other, it becomes so much easier to bare their souls and become more entwined emotionally.

Naked is being true to yourself, however, it can also be mega-scary. But jump in with both feet, wipe the dust off that full length mirror and embrace the real unadorned beautiful you.

(Part 2 of this write-up ‘Naked before God’)

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