Show Me Your Naked Side

Photo by Darius Bashar on Unsplash

A recent story on Medium.com brought back a memory from a college art class lecture. Or maybe it was a photography class. It’s been so long I can’t remember. Anyway, I remember learning the concept of Naked Versus Nude in art.

A nude image depicts a person flawlessly. Smooth skin. Flowing hair. No scars or imperfections. Glossy.

In contrast, a naked image reveals who a person really is. Lumps and bumps. Sweat. Grit. Raw and unfiltered. The person may gaze back at us with a this is me expression.

What prompted my trip down memory lane? My good friend Christopher Robin’s story titled No Matter How Sexy Someone is…

Chris’s humorous story leans heavily on the reality of living with a real person, but in my mind, that’s where the rubber hits the road in a relationship. That’s living with someone’s naked side.

Because here’s the thing. A person’s glossy side may be initially attractive but that’s not what makes someone endearing.

The shiny nude version doesn’t reveal who someone is. That’s the cleaned-up ready-for-church side. To truly know who someone is we must see their naked side. The side with messy hair. The side that exposes their humanness.

The comfort of a relationship happens on the naked side — the side where we can be ourselves. We can relax. Be vulnerable. Authentic.

Deep love and acceptance live on the naked side. To get there, we gotta dive below the surface. Peel back layers. Reveal our naked side.

Who’s under that shine?

Whatcha got in there?

a curious firefly, © 2022

This story was originally published on Medium as part of a 250-word story challenge. I think this clocked in at 255.

Sometimes Love Arrives in Packages We Aren’t Expecting

My son Wyatt

My sister recently shared an email with me from a consultant she follows named Ritu. In the email, Ritu talks about reframing our thoughts on love and the different ways it may show up in our lives. She included a quote from Bishop Jakes that went something like this:

“We expect to find the love we want in the packages we want it to be in. But the Universe sends us the love we need, often in packages we might not expect.”

It was a timely email to read because I’ve been thinking lately about sharing how love arrived on my doorstep last fall in a package I hadn’t been expecting.

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My Advice to a Newly Engaged Man? Never Stop Dating Each Other

Photo by picjumbo.com on Pexels.com

There’s a younger man in my office who recently became engaged. He met his now-fiancé in high school and had been dating her for the past 12+ years. When he told me he had proposed, I congratulated him then asked if he’d like a little piece of advice. 

“Of course,” he replied.

I said, “Never stop dating each other.”

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Finding the Right Person is Like Finding the Right Mug

Ever notice when you find the right mug–one where the character and quality feel really good–it can positively enhance your coffee or tea experience?

I’ve discovered the same is true for finding the right person. Not that finding the right person will only enhance our coffee or tea experience, but all of life’s experiences as well. And the right person must feel good from the start, just the way they are.

I’ve learned this lesson about the similarities between finding the right mug and finding the right person the hard way by mistakes I’ve made in the past.

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7 More Songs for the Last Few Months on Bumble

Photo credit: Sanita Kalnite

After spending over a year on the dating app Bumble, I’ve decided to call it quits for awhile. I’ve deleted the app from my phone and am now using the time I spent swiping, chatting and meeting people to focus on other things.

As I look back and review my time spent on the app, songs always have a way of bubbling up in my head to characterize the experience. In addition to my post, 7 Songs for 7 Months on Bumble, here are 7 more songs that capture the final few months:

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Three Relationship Questions to Ask

Photo by Cristian Dina on Pexels.com

“Are you in a relationship with him?”

This question always baffles me. When I’m asked this, my reply is “Of course I’m in a relationship with him–we are relating to each other.” In my opinion, aren’t we in some type of relationship with everyone in our lives? Aren’t we in a relationship with the people in our family? With our friends? Our co-workers? Our neighbors? With ourselves?

So the question, “Are you in a relationship with him?” isn’t enough for me. There are other more meaningful questions to ask–questions that get to the heart of the things. 

Here are three more meaningful questions to ask:

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7 Songs for 7 Months on Bumble

Photo credit: Sanita Kalnite

Spending the last seven months on the dating app Bumble has been an educational experience.

I’ve been taking a dive into the wild and a bit wacky world of online dating. When I first started this foray, I quickly discovered there were a lot of things I didn’t know. I found myself googling a number of words I’d never heard before. What’s a sapiophile? A pluviophile? And then there’s all the acronyms and terms. LTR. FWB. Ghosting. And what does that symbol mean?!

There was so much to learn.

Continue reading “7 Songs for 7 Months on Bumble”

Getting Still

I have a problem with getting still.

When I’m faced with a situation and not sure what to do or believe, a friend told me to get still and listen to my gut–that it knows.

But I have a problem with getting still. 

When I am still, the silence can be agony for me. When I wait for an answer to an important question, a text reply from someone, or a response from an on-line blog on a piece I submitted, and sit in silence, it can be agonizing. When I am still, my mind makes up all kinds of stories to fill the silent space. 

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What Fills Your Love Bucket? Seven Things To Keep In Mind

Healthy, meaningful relationships take work. Attention needs to be paid to what matters to each person involved.

It’s like each person in the relationship has a Love Bucket with a small hole at the bottom. In order for each person to feel loved and emotionally secure in the relationship, regular deposits need to be made into their Love Bucket. If regular deposits are not made, the Love Bucket slowly drains until it is empty.

This is not a good place to be.

In order to maintain a healthy, full Love Bucket, it is important to be aware of the following seven things:

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It’s The Marriage That’s Broken, Not The Home

When most people ask why my marriage ended, I usually reply that we were never doing the same dance. It was much more complicated than that, of course, but this describes the gist of it. I needed marriage to be a tango and he needed a line dance–two very different things.

I stayed a lot longer than I should have for a variety of reasons, one of which was that I did not want to be divorced. I did not want my kids to be from a “broken home”. 

But since we weren’t doing the same dance, there was no love connection. Even though we were living under the same roof, in a sense we were already separated and our “home” was already broken.

In Grounded Spirituality, Jeff Brown writes:

..many seemingly intact families are deeply broken…a home is not broken when parents are separated or divorced. A home is broken when there is an absence of love.”

Continue reading “It’s The Marriage That’s Broken, Not The Home”