There is a recurring dream symbol that visits us, and that is the dream in which you find yourself stark naked in the middle of a crowd.
If you have ever had this dream, you are well aware of the swiftness with which it can flood you with terror and shame.
This dream is symbolic, of course, of a fear of being unveiled. Not literally a fear of being physically unclothed, but of being seen for who you truly are, without a single barrier shielding you from the judging eyes of the masses.
It is my proposal that one’s unveiling is both the most terrifying and liberating thing that could happen.
The very moment you step foot into the world for who you are and announce, “take it or leave it”, “accept me or alienate me”, “love me or hate me”, you are free.
You are free for the simple reason that you are no longer tormented by the endless possibilities of others’ opinions. You are enveloping yourself in acceptance, which allows you to completely disregard the approval or disapproval of others.
When we do not bare our true selves to the world, in essence, we are hiding. We are afraid. Of what? Rejection, embarrassment, judgments, isolation – the list goes on ad nauseam.
But when we throw it all to the wind, when we say, “I like myself just as I am”, and we show that to the world — we are freed from a force we could never control in any case.
All feelings of entrapment stem from a fear of the unknown, and from a more general fear of losing control.
We are imprisoned the most when we are paralyzed by a useless fear – a fear of that which we cannot control.
But the simple fact is this: whether you fear it or not, you cannot manipulate it. You can be terrified to tears that someone will hate you, reject you, or poke fun at you – but that fear will not influence what they think or what they say.
Whether you fear rejection or remain indifferent towards it, the result is outside of your reach. But you can control which attitude you assume – and one leads to confinement, whereas the other leads to liberation.
Have the courage to present yourself to the world, absolutely naked (metaphorically, of course, or literally). Have the courage to accept yourself completely – the only acceptance over which you have absolute control.
It will scare you to death, and it will bring you to life.