One day a friend and I set out to swim au naturel in the mountain pools near my home. Soon after we arrived, a few people showed up. I should probably put my bathing suit on, I thought. These people may find my nudity offensive. Then I thought, But I was here first. Besides, most people swim naked here. I’ll just carry on as I am and trust that everyone will be fine.
A short time later, a family showed up. Now I should really put my suit on, I thought. But we were here first, I remembered. Kids usually go naked anyway. I’ll just trust that everyone will be okay with it. Half an hour later, a tour group arrived…
Off the mini-van the Japanese poured, camcorders rolling. Now I really better get dressed, I figured. By this time, however, I was enjoying myself immensely. If they don’t like it, that’s their problem, I reasoned. Besides, I was here first. So went the day. Everyone else wore swimsuits, but they seemed fine with us being naked, and we all enjoyed ourselves. When we finally left, I felt a deep sense of peace.
Do you have the courage to swim naked even when others are wearing their suits? I am not referring to being physically naked; it is infinitely more important to be spiritually naked; to be who you are, whatever you are, where you are, and to act from a sense of inner vitality rather than social accommodation.
Give me the courage to be what I am.
In the presence of Your love, I have nothing to hide and everything to celebrate.
Who and what I am is enough.
This meditation is an excerpt from Alan Cohen’s meditation book, A Deep Breath of Life.