The Naked Truth

Carl Robinette

Thu September 25, 2014 9:10am

Susan LeBron

It is fair to say that most of us consider honesty a virtue, but being 100 percent honest with those closest to you is easier said than done.  Most of us probably tell little fibs every day –That dress does not make you look fat. Your hairline looks the same as the day I met you.  We tell fibs because being completely honest would make us feel naked, but local author Susan LeBron says feeling naked is a good thing.
That is the concept of her new book, No Fig Leaves Allowed.  The title is in reference to the Adam and Eve story in which the couple wears fig lives over their privates after knowing shame. Lebron’s book is a self-help guide designed to help readers build stronger interpersonal relationships by letting themselves become “emotionally naked.” 
For LeBron that means completely removing deception from the relationship.
“I’m not just talking about not lying,” LeBron said.  “I’m talking about sharing.  Being open to the truth and investing in the truth.  When you do that, it is very freeing.”
If partners in a relationship are not honest about their feelings, their opinions, their appearance even their sexuality, she said they are destroying intimacy by not sharing.  And she leaves no subject off limits, not even a man commenting on his wife’s weight.
“My husband can tell me if I’m looking a little chunky,” LeBron said.  “Because the honesty is tempered with compassion and caring.”
Self-deception is the worst kind of lying, according to LeBron because if you are not honest with yourself about yourself, you will never be able to be honest with others.  LeBron exudes a comfortable confidence that suggests she practices what she preaches. 
The practice of honesty and sharing grew out of necessity for LeBron, being married for 18 years with six children and a husband serving in the Navy.  As a military family they have moved back and forth across the country and dad is often gone for months at a time.  Honesty is how they keep their family strong.
“Those 18 years have not always been easy,” LeBron said.  “But you have to fight for what you care about.”
LeBron is also a realist.  She knows not everybody is going to find it easy to share things they have been taught their whole lives to keep to themselves.  She knows honesty comes harder for some people.
“But it’s something to aspire too,” LeBron said.
The book is in its final stages of editing and will include tips, activities and experienced advice.  Lebron got her writing start putting together training manuals for banking and healthcare industries and has taught ballroom dancing for 25 years.
With two more books in the works, Lebron is also in the middle of developing her No Fig Leaves brand and she is in discussions to create a board game based on the book that could be used as relationship counseling tool.
Finding time for herself and her writing is the biggest challenge for the busy mother of six, but she said she hopes the book will help people create a trend of honesty.
“I’m not talking about pouring your heart out to the cashier at Vons,” LeBron said.  “But honesty, your honor and integrity, sometimes that’s all you have.”