Finding Oneself – God does not make rubbish!
Genesis 2 v25: ‘Both the man and his wife were naked and were not ashamed.’
In our journey from childhood, we learn behaviours which help protect us from criticism, subconsciously adopting mannerisms showing the aspects of our personality that will win us praise. Often, we use the strengths in our makeup to gain affection or admiration and keep hidden the parts we least like for fear they will be exploited to belittle or demean us.
For example, the person who always has a joke may find it difficult to admit feeling sad, the person who is seen as strong emotionally may find it hard to give comfort to someone suffering bereavement, the person who portrays a calm persona could find it hard to admit feelings of anger or fear.
As we progress through life, so our ingrained ways of behaving reduce the opportunity to be fully human in our relationships, especially in an intimate relationship.
The challenge is to look deep inside ourselves and admit to the feelings we try to deny and then allow our spouse to experience us in those moments when we judge we are weak, or helpless. True intimacy involves being naked to the other person in the emotional sense, allowing them to experience the parts we prefer to hide and show them the person we really are at a deep level. This can only happen through deep communication in an accepting atmosphere and is the gift we can offer to each other as a way of enhancing our love and commitment.
In exploring our deeper self and sharing the discoveries with our spouse in a loving relationship we open ourselves to being loved in a deeper way because of the enhancement that brings to our life as a couple.
To be naked and unashamed about our whole person is to be the creature who God formed – and God doesn’t make rubbish!
This blog was written by Gary and Kay Johnson, Worldwide Marriage Encounter England & Wales who make up part of the Alliance of Catholic Marriage Organisations