The title of today’s post is an excerpt of one of the lines from the first book of The Bible, Genesis, when Adam discovers that he’s naked and felt ashamed after having eaten from the forbidden Tree Of Knowledge. That line was pointed out as a very important one in the book I’m listening to called Wild At Heart, by John Eldredge as a near perfect analogy to help to understand almost every man who has ever lived.
As discussed in the book, the point being made is that we all share a common fear as men. The fear of being seen as an impostor. Having the mask fall off. Being outed as a man who couldn’t pull through when needed. Vulnerable, and inept.
That struck a chord with me, as it’s a way to describe and address insecurities in ourselves. I had never asked myself what it was that I was afraid of or what was some “thing” that might come up as a concern that I wouldn’t be able to take care of in this context. That’s been an interesting exercise. Ask yourself, about what things you don’t feel like you’d be able to make it through life without. Picture yourself without them and how you’re day-to-day might change. Will it at all, really? Would the new normal be unnavigable territory? More important follow-up questions would be – What steps can I take to make that a less severe change, or even a non-issue? Who do I know and trust that has already been through a similar experience that I can talk to?
This sounds like we’re talking about some life changing event, but it doesn’t have to be. Does the thought of you being stranded from a broken down vehicle in some remote area give you anxiety? Think of a person that you’d put in that scenario that you think would come out fine and talk to them about it. Several things will happen there. You’ll feel almost instantly better about that scenario after having talked about things you can do, you’ll have a plan to take care of those things, you’ll have maintained an open line of communication with a friend when you might not have had occaision to contact them, and maybe giving yourself that peace of mind might lead you to address other areas of concern in your life.
Having done a few of these exercises, I think you can develop a level of self confidence that will make life much more enjoyable. You’ll have the confidence to seek out new adventures and positive conflicts to take on, and there’s a ton of reward in that. Solving problems and answering challenges makes us happy. Become more capable and confident by seeking them out and not shying away from them when they come looking for you.
If you’re not sure how to change a tire, ask a friend who does to show you. Give yourself an honest assessment. Don’t bullshit yourself in your level of competence. Not sure how to shoot or clean a gun? Ask. Does the thought of having to put your hands on another person in self defense scare you? Join a martial arts school (preferably one where they actually touch each other). Want to know the basics of changing an outdoor light fixture? Check out my next post.
The point is, strip away those insecurities, fears, anxieties, and areas of lacking until you can stand “naked” and unafraid. Metaphorically, of course…unless literally standing around other people while naked is your thing. If so, go do that.
Take care of yourselves.