You get see inside my mind. And that wasn’t easy when I started out. There were so many times I wanted to publish and run away and say, “I don’t know who wrote that. Do you?” and pretend it wasn’t me.
Until I became accustomed to it, those thoughts had the power to make me feel stripped-down bare naked on a desert island without a raft. Vulnerable is a popular word but it was ten times more than that word could possibly express. Which is why I chose emotionally naked because that is stripped-down, soul-baring throw my twisted inside-out heart into the center of the boxing ring.
Being emotionally naked has at times made me sweat, filled me with self-doubt. The edges of myself have prickled with panic when I hit publish. Will they think I’m trying to be a shock jock or a shameless self-promoter?
But then the most wonderful feeling happened when I surrendered. I just let all that stuff go. All that baggage–gone. Funny, how losing a child will do that to you.
That first article I wrote and then the book both laid bare my soul. That invited you in to allow you to see all sides of my family both good and bad. By the time I wrote the latter, I had already let go and decided to live emotionally naked. I didn’t want to hide behind rigid, outdated customs of keeping it all locked up.
Anything detractors said or judged me for by then was drowned out by all the support. Instead of feeling a sting from the trolls, I wondered what struggles had inspired them to be bullies.
I still cringe sometimes when I share something from deep inside my soul. I’m simply learned to take a deep breath, acknowledge the fear, laugh a bit at myself and push forward through the uncomfortable. Because it’s outside my comfort zone that I’ve been able to find a path forward.
Thank you for coming with me on this journey.
2 thoughts on “What does it feel like to be emotionally naked?”
I could FEEL your words in my heart as I read this. You are such an inspiration and I feel immense gratitude for your work and courage.
Dr. Kimberly Schehrer
Kimberly that’s so thoughtful. Thank you.