Everyone needs to get naked. Here's why...

I no longer look for the good in people, I search for the real...Because while good is often dressed in fake clothing, real is naked and proud no matter the scars.
— Chrishala Lishomwa
everyone needs to get naked

In the South, we say nek-kid. And just the thought of it makes my stomach hurt.

At the age of ten, I was a chubby, prepubescent blob of nerves. As such, you can imagine just how horrified I was when my Grandpa took me to the YMCA one terrible Saturday morning. We walked into the locker room, and these old men initiated a shock and awe campaign on my eyes.

Ew. Just ew.

It must have been Senior Citizen Saturday at the YMCA. Friends, everything had lost its elasticity. There were body parts sagging below other body parts and I just wanted to claw my eyeballs out. The room was filled with white-haired old men that looked sort of like a whole chicken, vacuum-sealed in the refrigerated section of the grocery store.

I have never recovered.

I was in the pool!

I was petrified at the thought of being naked around anyone. This is due to my childhood sexual abuse, coupled with the “bonus” of growing up in the purity culture of the Evangelical church. I was the kid who found comfort in hiding beneath a hoodie, even on particularly warm days in Alabama. I was the preteen, wearing a t-shirt to the swimming pool, because I didn’t have the muscle tone of other, more athletic boys my age.

Even though I became hooked on pornography at the age of twelve, the truth is: I still don’t like to be naked.

Everyone needs to get naked. Here's why...

I haven’t talked to my brother in more than six months. We’ve never really been close, but it still breaks my heart. He’s got his issues, and I’ve had mine, but it’s sad to totally lose connection with family.

The details of what has transpired over the past six months aren’t nearly as important as the underlying fact that simmers just beneath the surface: we’re afraid to be naked.

We’ve both been hurt, and we’ve hurt each other. But the fact that we have disengaged and walked away is the sad reality of a culture that tells men lies like:

  • Don't stop for directions! Just keep driving.

  • Vulnerability is weakness.

  • Get it together, bro.

  • Don't cry! Dry it up.

  • Stop whining! Don't be a little bitch.

  • External toughness equals manliness.

  • Your worth is found in what you do, not who you are.

But again - those are lies. My goal as a life coach is to combat the lies of shame and silence with truth.

So what is the truth about men and self-care? Plain and simple: we need each other. We find healing and wholeness through the power of safe community. When get naked and allow others to see us - our dreams, fears, joys, disappointments, and the things that piss us off - we grow stronger together.

Nothing happens in a vacuum.

Just like the pebble that’s dropped in a pond, everything we do (good or bad) ripples out and impacts those around us. Even if there is no direct impact on the ones you love, the silence and secrecy around the issues that hurt and haunt you allows your shame to grow at an exponential rate. Eventually, you become toxic, slowly poisoning the relationships you care about most.

It’s interesting to note that 100% of the sign-ups at MoreThanLeftovers.com over the past 2 weeks have been females. It just further proves what I already know - guys suck at self-care. I know, because I lived it for 30 years. I don't know about other countries and cultures, but the lie of the straight, white, American male is this: don’t get naked.

Have sex.

Watch porn.

Let your freak flag fly.

But don’t get naked.

Here's a challenge to everyone who has read this far: give self-care a try. Are you a real man? Then do the most courageous thing possible -take your clothes off.

Let us see you.

Don’t know how to do that? Scared to death? Let's chat. Email me at steve@iamsteveaustin.com, fill out the form below, or take the plunge by signing up at MoreThanLeftovers.com today.

More Than Leftovers is a safe, confidential, online community of people who are ready to get honest, and be seen. We are practicing the art of confession. Together, we’re learning to relax, renew, and recover.

More Than Leftovers is starting a conversation about the things that truly matter. Will you join us?

Consider this your invitation,

-Steve

Steve Austin believes that everyone is recovering from something. His goal as a life coach, speaker, and best-selling author is to help others create a lifestyle of focused emotional health and clarity. Sign up for Steve's weekly newsletter by clicking right here.
 

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