Using Protection (Or, Safety in Nakedness)

If this was high school, I guess this is where I would explain the whole safe sex thing and bring out all sorts of rubbery contraptions and stinky creams. Oh, and… let’s not forget the banana for practice!

Where am I going with this?

Like sex, practicing the art of leading a naked life pushes a lot of buttons. One of the major ones is the need for protection.

What if we’re there, in all our naked glory for people to see and they judge us? What if they don’t like us?

What if they throw tomatoes or eggs at us?

Or shoes, as Havi says.

When we are naked, there’s no shield. No distance. No barriers.

First of all, this is not entirely true.

While there might be no distance (unless you consciously choose to create some), there is a barrier.

But I’ll discuss that towards the end of the post.

First I need to deal with the whole “need for safety” thing.

Our current safety net is keeping us trapped

What people often forget is that it’s the shields that prevents others from seeing who we really are.

That artificial distance makes a true connection impossible. It makes it extremely hard for people to love us as we are, because we are not taking off the mask.

They just know who we pretend to be for them to like us.

The shield we create for others to appreciate us ends up trapping us in a role we feel we must play.

But it still leaves us feeling lonely at the end of the day because…

What good is it when the appreciation others feel is for a person that is only a version of who we really are?

And what good is it when we don’t feel free to let loose and share what’s really going on inside of us?

Or when we feel like we cannot ask for help or a favor because we believe people will think we are weak or that we are needy and annoying?

Isn’t it quite the paradox that we create distance when what we crave is closeness?

Personally, I’d rather people appreciate and love the whole of me, ugly bits and everything.

Because, you know what? I’m not perfect. And neither are they. Yet I still love them in their imperfection so why couldn’t they love me in mine?

I want to make a point here.

Yes, ideally, we would allow ourselves to be open and trusting and let down the defense mechanisms and masks that we wear to protect ourselves.

Sometimes, this is taken to mean that wanting protection is wrong.

I disagree.

The need to feel safe is completely natural.

The problem doesn’t come from wanting protection.

The issue here is that our perception of where the safety comes from is skewed.

We learned to live our whole lives believing that we are protecting ourselves when we hide a part of ourselves.

If we hide the “less desirable” parts, the parts that we are ashamed of, then people will like us better and we will get what we want which is ultimately to be loved and appreciated.

We might have learned this when daddy or mommy or even our teacher scolded us for certain behaviors and rewarded us for others, or when the kids at school teased us for our looks, habits, clothing, lack of abilities in certain areas, etc. Or it could have been the ballet teacher. Or the grandmother. Or the football coach.

The list is endless, and each situation is unique and yet universal.

We all have our story of how we learned to seek safety in hiding.

But this is not where safety is found.

Here’s a question:

How could we be loved unconditionally, when we are already setting up the conditions in which we feel people will love us?

Furthermore, how could we be loved unconditionally, when there are parts of us that we don’t even love ourselves?

The safety that we seek isn’t in hiding.

The safety is in loving all of ourselves enough that we stand strong and bare, open and vulnerable for others to be able to love us as we are.

The protection lies in believing in ourselves and acting accordingly.

In the knowing of our power and our strength, and the trusting of it.

The strength in the willingness to make ourselves vulnerable, comes from that. It is a product of our conviction that we can deal with whatever comes our way.

Yes, it might sting a little when someone doesn’t like us.

But then we remember that that’s ok. Sometimes we don’t like other people and that has nothing to do with them. It has to do with our preferences.

Nothing personal.

So this is where the barriers are: in knowing how to separate their stuff from our stuff.

In standing strong like a peaceful warrior, showcasing our sexy and our power… and our beautiful soul to all.

Jump in!

Please contribute by leaving a comment. What has been your experience?


3 thoughts on “Using Protection (Or, Safety in Nakedness)

  1. This:

    “How could we be loved unconditionally, when we are already setting up the conditions in which we feel people will love us?”

    Ohhh that one hit home! I’d respond to more of this, but the brain is busy internalizing that one sentence.


    • YES!
      I think the key is how to create the feeling of safety that we need and desire while still being our authentic selves…. it’s not something that feels natural because most of us have been hiding for so long, but it’s so important.


  2. @Tori – When that came to me, I was struck by it too. The rest of the post was my attempt at fleshing out that idea.

    @Andy – So true! Like you say, the trick is in creating healthy safety systems that don’t rob us of a true connection. We’ve never been taught how to do this, but figuring out what those would be for us really pays off.


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