Naked and Afraid

I stand naked in front of the mirror. No thoughts of sexuality. An attempt to be present, aware and unabashed. Another exercise in humility.
There is no one else around. Still, I am self-conscious, awkward and uncomfortable. I want to cover myself, but I deliberately continue to look.
I examine myself from head to toe- every wrinkle, every scar, every crease and every fold. I see a distorted reflection, like looking through a warped mirror at a carnival funhouse.
Muscles too small. Extra skin. Gray hairs. Too skinny. Too tall. A broken toe. A big nose. Crooked, yellowing teeth. Asymmetrical and disproportionate, far from perfect. I am as scared to look at myself as I am for anyone to see the real me.
The internal and the external are dependent on one another but they are rarely in alignment. I want my insides to match my appearance. I want my surface to match what I feel. I often judge myself on the external, punishing myself with the thought that I am not radiating who I truly am.
I look at my true self and try to see past the insecurity- my shame, doubt and disdain.
I look at my true self and try to see through my ego- my pride, overconfidence and vanity.
I look at my true self and I see that I am exactly as I was created to be. Made of intent and purpose beyond my limited reason. Distinct, unique, and equal in my humanity. Neither greater than, or less than, simply a part of the whole.
Help me recognize my true self and remain vulnerable.

Teach me acceptance and genuine humility.

Let the external and the internal self blend in healthy balance and harmony.

Allow me to be comfortable in my nakedness.
~ S.D.


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