“And I feel like I’m naked in front of the crowd
Cause these words are my diary screaming out loud
And I know that you’ll use them however you want to…”
~ Breathe 2am by Anna Nalick
Have you ever had that dream where you are going through life as you normally would when all of a sudden you realize you are completely naked? The details may vary some. Maybe you’re only naked from the waist down. You might be in school, in public, or with friends. People may notice or they may be oblivious. But odds are you’ve had some variation of that dream at least once in your life. In my life, the naked dream has been a recurring one for me.
I don’t remember my dreams most nights and when I do it’s usually something like the naked dream or a pretty specific nightmare – usually the boogeyman trying to get me. The boogeyman dream is a blog for another day. Every now and then I’ll dream about all my teeth shattering and falling out. That one’s fun, too. You get the point, though, right? I don’t remember most of my dreams, and the only ones I do aren’t ones I like to remember.
The naked dream has been frequent enough that I’ve looked it up and I have learned that the dream can represent different feelings and subconscious struggles. More often than not, shame can play a role, but also insecurity and a fear of being exposed.
I dreamed the naked dream last night. It began the way it always has. I was out in public headed somewhere when I had the realization I was completely naked. My reaction was the same as it was in the hundred dreams before – initial shock and then embarrassment. More than embarrassment – it was the feeling of being completely exposed for the world to see and a feeling of wanting to cover and hide.
I felt shame.
But for the first time in my life my dream took a completely different direction. Instead of spending the rest of the dream trying to run, cover, hide, and get away, I came to a place of peace with my “condition”. I was actually able to accept that I had been exposed and not run from it. That transitioned to making peace with my body and actually feeling comfortable in my own skin, which was intensely liberating and freeing. There was nothing sexual about my being naked for the world to see, it was more of an acceptance of the situation in which I was in and a settling in of sorts. It was a this-is-who-I-am-and-how-I-am-and-it’s-okay-and-I’m-okay.
More than okay. It was good.
It was very good.
I continued to carry on with my business in the dream with this new found sense of confidence and self acceptance and I was even beginning to talk about the fact I was naked when I looked down at my body again and noticed that where I was previously naked, I was now wearing a life vest. The life vest was tailor made for me and my body. It was thin, comfortable and easy to maneuver in, and yet it was also made of an intensely durable material that was something like kevlar. Thick, sturdy, and protective but lightweight, it served the purpose of covering me and also protecting me. I was also wearing something that resembled a swimsuit bottom that, again, had the perfect form and fit for my body, and I realized I was actually covered in every way that mattered. I wondered, how did that happen? How did I not notice these things? At the same time, they felt so natural and perfectly suited for me that it didn’t feel right to question it.
I don’t think there are myriad dream interpretations online and in books for this new version of my dream. I don’t think this part of the naked dream is as common. My own interpretation is that I am arriving at a new place in my life – a place of self awareness and acceptance. I’m putting to rest remnants of shame and insecurity from my past and walking more boldly in the world. I believe God spoke to me in the quiet of the night last night, when the debris of the day had settled and I could let him in a little easier. He showed me that, as I lay down the burdens and loads I have been carrying throughout my life, and I walk in fullness of the purpose for which I am created, I am more able to see clearly that He had me covered all along.