John Alan Turner

Speaker, Author, Mentor, Coach, Facilitator

Naked and Unashamed

Growing up I was ashamed of my body. See, I wasn't just thin; I was skinny. Skinny as a rail. Skinny as a post.

I tried everything. I tried drinking potions and eating extra helpings. Nothing worked; I was skinny.

This was especially difficult since I grew up near the beaches of Southern California. We were expected to spend a considerable amount of time with our shirts off, but I knew that I looked a lot better with my shirt on -- and a sweater on top of that.

I was an autumn living in the land of eternal summer.

Eventually, a solid workout regimen combined with my natural body chemistry slowing down to produce some results. In other words, I filled out. And I was proud of it. I'd certainly worked hard enough. I actually looked good with my shirt off. I had muscles in my shoulders and chest. You could make out my abs. I began to like my body.

But that was a while ago. I'll be 38 soon, and -- much to my chagrin -- I haven't darkened the door of my local gym in some time now. A couple of weeks ago I watched the Bourne trilogy, Batman Begins and 300 in rapid succession. A friend of mine asked me what I thought of all those movies, and my first response was, "I realized I'm in terrible shape."

Every man in Sparta has eight-pack abs. I have the beginnings of a pony keg strapped around my waist.

I'm back to being ashamed of my body.

And all of this has added a certain nostalgic touch to the phrase "naked and unashamed".

Just another something we've lost since the Fall. And one more thing we're promised to return to in the life to come.

The phrase certainly means more than what I've just been talking about. It has to do with more than just body image. It also has to do with a man and a woman with no secrets hindering their intimacy. It contains elements of their psychological and emotional relationship, but it's physical as well. And as much as I am a psychological and emotional person, I'm also physical.

As you think of the life to come, the life you've been promised, which elements of being "naked and unashamed" are most appealing to you?