We live in a society obsessed with decency and covered in shame. Many years ago, I began asking the question, could decency and shame be linked in some way? At the time, this question seemed radical. After all, I was a young Christian man who had been programmed to see through a very narrow lens; from the moment I was born I was taught right and wrong. As an infant I drank from the breast of my mother and ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. I conformed to a very narrow view of societal morality and would grow up fighting to protect it. My idea of decency was shaped by a small community church of no more than 100 in a small town of 15 thousand. And then one day freedom came knocking on my door and I was bold enough to answer. Freedom came with the question, “who told you that you were naked?” I would spend the next 10 to 15 years unpacking this question!
This question would ultimately lead me to a beautiful place of realization and to more radical questions. Like, who is the ‘I’ that is naked or clothed? Am I the body? If I’m not the body, then who am I and why am I ashamed of the body? These questions would ultimately liberate me from the prison of form.
It is imperative to stop at this point and ask the following questions, do I believe I am the body? In other words, am I identified as the body? Have you ever experienced shame regarding body image? If there were no cameras or mirrors, would you feel the same way about your body as you currently do? If there where no Sports Illustrated body issue’s or Victoria Secret commercials, would you still feel the same way about your body?
If we identify in the body and allow the actions of the body to define us, we will be limited in expression. Fighting to protect the thing we believe we are, be it male or female; Muslim, Jew, or Christian; mother or father; husband or wife. We will build walls around us, but instead of using brick and mortar, we use morality and law. These walls, that are thought of as protection, end up imprisoning us. But if you tear down the walls of societal decency, morality, and religious law, you will be tossed out as an outcast.
This is the inevitable crux of the revelation…do I or don’t I live in freedom even though it may cost me everything? But if you’re not the body, who is the one capable of such losses? Who is the one clinging to possessions, titles, reputation? Aren’t these things just concepts? The freedom that flows from letting go of concepts and their baggage is tremendous. It opens us up to experience the moment in ways you never thought were possible when living under the invisible prison of decency and shame.
Every journey begins with a single step. Beginning the journey of letting go is no different. It begins with the single step of yielding the mind to the possibility of being wrong. The three words I’m about to teach you will begin the transformation. These three words hold in them the power of surrender. The three words are: I DON’T KNOW. By simply saying I don’t know, you are learning to surrender the need to be right. This is powerful! So if your ready to take the first step towards freedom, wake up each morning with the mantra of I don’t know.