Some days I feel exposed. Stripped of skin, like one of those medical teaching dummies, insides revealed and you can see right through me to the heart of the matter.

I’ve spent so many years adding extra “skin” to my body to account for those aforementioned days, sometimes I feel numb.

Gaining health is a hard journey, but it’s a failed journey if I don’t allow myself to be exposed and open. I can’t heal my body without healing my mind and heart. My body can’t flourish if my soul is stained or worse, poisoned.

This morning I was nearing the end of yoga, when my youngest son burst in on me. I felt embarrassed, and ashamed. I shouldn’t have felt those things, I wasn’t doing anything that warrants those emotions, I was healing my body. I felt those feelings because I don’t want my kids to look at me, and see what I see. I want them to see who I really am, not what I feel like.

In my shorts and workout tee, folded up in a pitiful ball on the floor, gut squishing out of its cloth confines. Startled and sweaty. Visually a mess, mentally destroyed. How can I face him? He’s seen me at my most vulnerable, a visual realization that I’m not perfect or the strongest, and smartest man he’s ever met.

Just another human, just another guy.

I love my kids.

I don’t think I truly understood unconditional love until they were people. I accepted the concept and the realities of love, and the conditions that came with it. You respect me, and I you, etcetera and so forth. But unconditional love? The kind where you can hit me with all your force, whilst screaming “I HATE YOU!” spittle landing, and hurt steaming. Yet, my heart never hardens, it stays soft. I have this with Lu too, but I didn’t believe it until the kids came and opened my eyes and heart.

Unconditional love is the force that lets me look him in the face again, and helps me believe him when he says he sees me, not how I feel.