nakedNot long after I moved into my first house as a newly-single person, I bought a metal sculpture of a naked woman, reclining backwards, holding a candle aloft.

These days the sculpture has migrated from my lounge-room to the deck and, although it looks a little worse for wear, it still attracts interest from my visitors.

Often they are intrigued. ‘Why do you like that?’ they ask. ‘What’s that about?’

My answer is always the same, ‘She symbolises how I wish to live my life. Naked, open to the world and lighting my own way.’

Now don’t misunderstand me. You won’t see me strolling through my local streets without clothes on anytime soon. It’s more of a metaphor.

The nakedness and openness speak to my desire to live openly, without barriers and from the heart. I wish to live as I truly am, not as others or society expects me to be.

I wish to light my own way by knowing I always have the strength and light within me to keep moving forward because I trust my own judgement and intuition. It’s not about turning away from the assistance of others. Instead it’s about knowing that my light comes from within me and I can re-light my own candle whenever I choose. I do not have to wait for someone else to light it for me.

When life gets difficult, as it does for all of us, it can be easy to put up barriers between ourselves and others, close down our hearts and let our light go out. It can be easy to lose faith that we have the strength and inner guidance to find our way forward, to take the next step, to just keep going.

But in those moments I will glimpse the naked lady and I’m reminded of my capacity to find my way. Like me, she has some age spots (in her case, rust) showing up here and there, and she has weathered a few storms. She has matured a little more and, in my more fanciful moments, I imagine she has, like me, relaxed into her own (metal) skin over the years.

Yet in spite of all the bumps, rust, storms and challenges of living exposed to the elements, she is still there naked, open to the world and lighting her own way. She is still there inspiring me to do the same

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