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.

Wearing the Crown of Self-Worth

Photo by Larm Rmah on Unsplash

Alas, there’s the sound. The queen requests her tea.”

I watched as my friend Ray poured hot water into a tall white mug over a bag of Earl Grey tea. He smiled at me then padded softly into the bedroom where his wife Bonnie lay rousing from sleep. It’s a ritual they do every morning — Ray being an early riser and Bonnie needing a nudge to greet the day. She gently calls and he answers by bringing her a cup of hot tea.

Continue reading “Wearing the Crown of Self-Worth”

Taking a Trip Back in Time

Photo by Valerie Blanchett on Unsplash

One of the most popular questions that’s asked in the getting-to-know-you phase of dating is, “If you could have a superpower, which one would you choose?”

When I’m asked that question, I feel a strong pull to immediately respond, “Flying, of course! How cool would that be?!”

But when I ponder the question further, I think my answer would have be time travel. I’m not sure if it’s actually considered a superpower, but it’d be cool nonetheless. It’d be cool to move forward in time and see what life will be like. But it’d also be nice to travel back in time and take a peek at how I used to be and to maybe have a chance to right a few wrongs.


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Just Stop

Photo by Wendelin Jacober on Pexels.com

I’m having a difficult time with the word “just”. Or to be more precise, all the words that often follow the word “just”.

When I lament that I’m weary of waiting for Mr. Right to show up, someone will say,

“Just be patient!”
“Just put yourself out there!”
“Just get out and do what you love!”

I’ve “just” done all those things and he still hasn’t magically appeared. Well, maybe I haven’t been patient enough, but I have put myself out there, wherever out there is. I’m doing what I love.

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

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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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Three Things For Practicing Presence In Our Relationships

Lately, I’ve been trying to practice being in the present moment. I’m learning to accept and be present with both the comfortable and uncomfortable things in my life. This week, I discovered the importance of not only practicing this with myself, but also in my relationships with other people as well.

Here’s what happened.

My dear sister called and was very upset about something happening in her life. I wanted to soothe her and make the pain go away. My mind was racing trying to think of what to say and how to help and I spouted out a few suggestions.

And then she said, “I don’t need you to fix this. I just need you to listen.” 

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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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Want Your Relationship to Work? Check Your Connection

Technology can be so frustrating. 

I click “print” and wait a few seconds for the “I’m on it” whirring sound from my printer but instead I get crickets and error messages. Argh. Why isn’t it working?

I could say the same thing about my marriage.

I’d been having a problem with the printer. For some reason, it wasn’t printing. I was sending documents but kept getting error messages. I’m not a techie person, so I asked my former husband to help. But he didn’t seem to understand how much this mattered to me, so it wasn’t high on his list of things to do. In fact, it wasn’t on his radar screen at all.

Crickets.

And so the printer sat in its error state.

Continue reading “Want Your Relationship to Work? Check Your Connection”