So, I was recently talking with a friend about the wonderful world of dating and the nuances thereunto LOL and I was reminded of a show I saw late one evening a few years ago. I had woken up in the middle of the night and wasn't able to go right back to sleep. (Hate when that happens!) The tv was on, so I rolled over to see what show was on. To my surprise, it was a show called 'Dating Naked'. Yup it's exactly what it sounds like. A show where people take the risk of going on a date with a complete stranger, COMPLETELY NAKED!!
As uncouth and socially awkward as this sounds, it was actually very enlightening. Undoubtedly, the weird feeling of 'is he checking me out?', causes a heightened level of vulnerability from jump. This already poses a level of discomfort as we live in a very guarded society.
As the daters press past the obvious observation of the physical physique, they engaged in various outdoor activities to give them an opportunity interact and learn about one another. At the end of the night they retreat to their individual rooms and prepared for the next day. Where they went on ANOTHER naked date with ANOTHER complete stranger.
As loose and immoral as this may sound, I remained intrigued. (Note: I am not condoning or endorsing this show in any way. I'm merely using this as the platform to voice my thoughts spurred from such "entertainment") (Other note: The fact that I have to present the previous note let's me know how judgmental this world can really sometimes be.... but I digress...)
When the daters show up for their second naked date, you could clearly see their fear of the vulnerability decrease.
Though their level of comfort with their nakedness increased, it was clear that there was some disappointment. You see although they had been on a naked date before, this was their counterpart's first naked date! The new date wasn't as open and was just as timid as they had been the night before, but something was different. Their eyes had been opened to a sense of freedom in their nakedness. They were disappointed in their dates obvious passivity and shy behavior, so they didn't enjoy themselves as much as they did the previous night.
What stood out to me was the the original dater was able to seemingly open up faster on naked date 2.
Our openness and transparency is based on our ability to become comfortable with our vulnerabilities!
The reality is we are all vulnerable about something. There is something that makes each individual uncomfortable. Not just with others, but more importantly with ourselves. There is great risk in exposing these vulnerabilities to not just one, not even just 2, but in this case, these daters even went on a third naked date. The comfort with their nakedness allowed them to quickly access the core of who they really are and expose what they truly desire.
The truth remained, you can only be as comfortable with dating naked as you are with accepting your vulnerabilities. Honestly, by the third date, being completely naked was no longer a state of vulnerability. There was a sense of freedom that came along with this openness. Which goes to show that experiences can shape what we are, or what we allow ourselves to be comfortable with.
Besides our clothes what else do we hide our vulnerabilities behind? Our salary? Our credit score? Who we know? How many of us will never experience the freedom that being vulnerable provides because we won't get naked? We don't expect others to bare all, so we won't either. We believe that everyone is masking something, so we hide ourselves. Perhaps our comfort in being vulnerable will allow someone to feel comfortable with baring it all. OBVIOUSLY we must use wisdom and discretion, however, I believe this openness would allow us to eliminate A LOT of time wasted entertaining frivolous encounters of layers upon layers only to find out our cores are just completely incompatible.
I often say, there is a difference in being an open book and being vulnerable. If I freely give you information as an open book, you can't hurt me with the information. However, if I share something from deep within that causes me to be vulnerable with you, I have given you the power and most importantly the option to hurt me. Is it a risk? Absolutely! Can you be burned by it? Sure can! But can you experience true healing when that vulnerability isn't violated? Ten times over! My prayer for us, is that God would allow us to become vulnerable with Him and ourselves so that we can experience the freedom and contentment that it brings.