Shame and Naturism

Have you discovered how artificial clothes are? How we, the collective, use them to conceal our true nature, use them as a facade to make ourselves feel powerful, relaxed, sexual and all manner of other things?
Clothes are used to express who we want to be. They're used to conceal what we're too afraid to expose to others. There are some who have discovered the freedom of going without clothes, but don't realise their freedom is extremely limited. Much of the fear, anxiety and conflict they carry around with them is retained even when unclothed. The underlying shame ingrained into them by society remains.
How am I able to make such a claim?

I can remember the first nude hike I did as an adult about three years ago. I was nervous, jumpy and apprehensive. Around ninety percent of my attention was focused on not being seen. I was walking on a public trail in a nature reserve that isn't used that frequently, but not entirely abandoned either. It was somewhat exhilarating to experience the environment unencumbered by clothes. It wasn't a relaxing, soulful experience however.

Over time, my confidence increased to a point where apprehension was about 30-40% depending on the circumstances, and enjoyment was about 70%.
The other day I walked on the same trail, and had next to no qualms about being seen. I stripped almost immediately, and didn't feel any compulsion to dress coming back despite being somewhat visible from the road and surrounding area. What changed to bring about this transformation?

The truth is, if you don't understand your own self worth and truly accept that your conduct is impeccable, you remain shackled to your ingrained sense of shame and worthlessness.
If you're apprehensive of being seen by others, you still have an underlying belief that what you're doing is unacceptable. So long as that's the case, you're not entirely free to enjoy the experience. Let me explain what I mean by that.

On my most recent walk, I knew I was in a state of mind transcendent of my physical state. The sun was warm and delightful. The breeze was gentle and blissful. The caress of the grasses against my bare skin was quite sensual. It was an experience that engaged and enticed my senses and I was completely immersed in every aspect of the environment. It made me realise, when you're focused in any way on anything other than enjoying the moment, you're not really experiencing naturism. You are instead a naked person hoping they won't be seen because there's a part of you that still relies on the external validation of others.

On another forum I participate in, I made the comment that if you were a blue handkerchief, and yet others insisted you were red, or some other colour, you'd totally disregard their comments. It would be ludicrous to even consider their view for a moment. If you knew who and what you are, it would make no difference to you what others thought you were. It's only when you depend on others to define and validate who you are that their opinion matters.

If you transpose this idea to naturism, it might help you see who and what you are. If you happen to be on a trail naked, completely enjoying the experience, and not the least bit concerned about your conduct, it's neither here nor there if you're seen. What another person thinks of you really doesn't matter, because you understand who and what you are, and know the value of your being. Really your primary focus is being human. The moment you lose that focus, and worry about what others are thinking and feeling about you, you stop being your true authentic self. You instead become what you think this other person expects of you. The moment that happens, you're some weird naked person wandering around in the wilderness for no good reason. Think about it, why else would you be there?

This mindset extends into many facets of your life. If you're uncomfortable being naked around your home or yard because the neighbours might see you, you're still clinging to limiting beliefs. If you're human, and your natural state is nude, why should you be upset that your neighbours don't see things they way they should be?
If you're at a public beach, it might create a bit of a scene if you bath naked, there is however no reason why anyone should get flustered if you change on the beach. If they feel offended by nudity, they should avert their gaze.

There is a perception that we should be considerate of other people. It might upset them to encounter someone naked. Why should you be considerate of them, when they're obviously not considerate of you?
If you're on a public trail minding your own business, doing nobody else any harm, why should you cover up when others pass. It's your choice and what you feel comfortable with. If you truly believe however, that there is nothing inherently wrong with nudity, then you shouldn't feel compelled to cover. By covering you are implying that something isn't right. It's much like a bare chested man. You don't see them reach for a shirt whenever someone comes within eyeshot.

Your behavior reflects your conviction. If that conviction is naked activities are acceptable, your behavior should reflect that. If however, you agree with wider society that nudity is offensive, you should perhaps re-evaluate your value system. Acknowledging your own self worth is an important step to true freedom.

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12 thoughts on “Shame and Naturism”

  1. This is thoughtful and helpful.

    If I am doing nothing shameful, and act unashamed and unapologetic, no one is likely to think that I am doing anything wrong. In the event that someone else takes offense at my conduct at the moment, I will apologize: and we will move on. If necessary, I can remove the offense — by dressing as long as I am in the presence of the offended.

    But I can also remain clear (to myself, to the other person) that the problem is with the other person.

    Thanks, Shane.

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  2. Many people still don't understand this simple premise, and this is a choice everyone has to make for themselves.

    I like the red and the blue handkerchief analogy.

    Naked hiking, just one of many possibilities, can help come to terms with this concept. You need not be defined by the thoughts of other people. You are defined by yourself, and by your own actions alone.

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