This morning, I found this posted to my Facebook timeline by my good wife. It actually brings a deeper sense of being understood to have these words and this poster show up. Though the poster talks about a couple relationship, the idea of letting others into the depths of who you are extends way beyond the safe and private union of a couple. The role of parent and child, or even grandchild often allows the barriers between self and other to drop enough for the authentic self to appear.
Unconditional love, the kind that we hear about especially in association of Jesus, is the hardest thing for us as humans to give. As parents, we typically want to control the parent-child relationship and so we engage in manipulative behaviours that basically tell the other that we will still love them if – nothing unconditional about that version of love.
However, sometimes it happens the way it should. But it takes a willingness to allow our children to see what we don’t even want to see about ourselves. I am not talking simply about ditching the clothing and allowing the truth of our aged bodies to be present. There are bigger and more harmful barriers. Behind these barriers we hide in fear that no one would love us if they knew the truth about us. And of course, that shuts the door shut until something breaks within us that puts serious cracks in our defensive walls. When those cracks appear in spite of all our efforts, we often get surprised that instead of pushing our children away, the cracks make us more human, less god-like. It is at this moment that we catch the whiff of unconditional love. Do we dare follow up and risk even more honesty with ourselves and others? Or, do we retreat out of doubt and fear and work even harder to make our barriers even higher, stronger and thicker?
Will you dare becoming naked in spirit?