The Naked Truth

I have a confession… I spray tan.

It’s true.

Not all the time, but I have in the past and I will again in the future. There is something magical about walking in pasty white and coming out with color. There is a reason that we all love the summer glow, and I just have to get my glow standing up in a booth or pop-up tent while a machine or actual human sprays me.

I share this because it seems a little embarrassing, but what’s mortifying is a story that I have not shared publicly… until now.

Years ago when my daughter was 8 or 9 years old, I stopped by the local tanning salon. I had my little one in tow and didn’t want to leave her out in the waiting area because if something happened, I would obviously not be in a position to help her. So, like any great mother (or great rationalizer), I took her in the room with me, plopped her in the corner, told her to look the other way and handed her my phone to keep her occupied on Netflix. I’d be in and out in less than 4 minutes.

No big deal.

I stripped down, put my feet on the line, arms pointing out then down, just like the kind automated voice told me to, and closed my eyes. I turned one way, then the other. On the second pass, I decided to take a quick peek and make sure my daughter was all good.

As my face pointed to the right, I squinted my left eye open just a crack, and that’s when I saw it.

My iPhone pointed straight at me as my daughter’s little thumb clicked what looked like 1 million times!

Oh, sweet Jesus, she’s taking pictures!!?!?  

This was now a BIG DEAL. Potentially life-altering big deal.

As the tanning machine did its final pass and the cold mist hit my face, I was in a cold sweat. Through barely cracked lips (lest I ingest the magical tanning chemicals coming straight at me) I begged my daughter to put the phone down, PLEASE. PUT. THE. PHONE. DOWN.  My heart was racing in my chest as the wave of hot air passed over to dry me and I lunged out of the machine to grab my phone.

Oh, sweet Jesus, she had in fact taken pictures. And, oh my, they were not what anyone needed to see.

I clicked the trashcan button several times then quickly checked my text messages and social media feeds to make sure nothing had been shared. I took a deep breath when all looked free and clear of any evidence of my tanning adventure.

Whoa, that was a close one.

I didn’t yell or fuss at my daughter. It was simply another opportunity to learn something together. As I rushed to get dressed, we had a conversation to clear up that it was NOT alright to take pictures of someone without their permission AND even more so if they have NO CLOTHES ON.

After teaching that parenting lesson I had somehow failed to broach before, I still wasn’t angry. I was more in shock of what could have happened. My naked business could have been shared with someone, or lots of someones, had my tech-savvy kiddo gone click-crazy.

I was actually laughing by the time we walked out of the salon. Laughing at what could have been, at the crazy close call, and at the absurdity of the entire situation. I had been completely exposed, buck (or is it butt?) naked, and there were pictures of it, and I thought my world could be over if they had been shared.

And that got me thinking…how many times have I panicked at the thought of being seen for what I really am?

How many times have I been scared of allowing people to see what’s really going on in my head, or my heart, for fear of being seen and found to be lacking? I know, it’s a bit of a leap, naked spray tan pics to hiding my inner truths…but it’s real.

In life, there are real risks of being seen, of showing our hearts, of sharing our precious dreams…only to have others not embrace them with open arms, tell us they aren’t good enough, or even worse – that they just don’t care.

But if I learned anything from that near-miss experience, it’s that if you aren’t willing to strip down sometimes, you will for sure miss out on opportunities to learn and laugh! You and I and our hearts’ and souls’ desires are worth the risk. If we’ll let go of the fear that holds us back and expose ourselves for the amazing things we are and have to offer, there’s a natural and beautiful glow waiting to find its way back into our lives!

So, let’s go, friend. Let’s grow and glow!

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