Whether anyone has noticed or not, over the last couple of months my contributions to the nudist scene in terms of posts and comments have diminished significantly. There are two primary reasons for this.
In the first instance I started engaging in nudism because I was seeking a solace I had lost somewhere in the hustle and bustle of day to day life. I'd really lost touch with nature and wanted that connection back. Further to this I sought a spiritual reconnection.
Over a period of three years I found what I was looking for. First and foremost a reconnection with nature. Nothing reconnects you like a nude stroll through the bush or along a beach.
Much more significant than this I reconnected spiritually and have for the most part transcended the suffering and toil of daily grind and petty troubles.
What I now commonly observe is the great dilemma nudists tend to find themselves in. On the one hand people have relaxed their attitude on clothes. In many other regards nothing else has changed in terms of frowning upon yourselves and frowning upon others using the same set of standards you've always held.
People are frequently a bit apprehensive about being nude in different circumstances. "I might upset the neighbours," "Somebody walking might be offended if they see me hiking nude."
The only shame you feel in those circumstances is your own. Until that changes you're going to feel hemmed in, restricted and confined.
I personally have no body shame per sec. I openly change on public beaches because there really is nothing to be ashamed of. It's by degrees that anything becomes normal. So long as you're not prepared to act normally, normality is not going to take place.
I've seen many people cite the gay community as a good example of a marginalised group who have fought valiantly for their rights. I think the first thing that transpired there was that enough people overcame their own shame of their sexuality to openly celebrate it and turn the tide of public opinion.
One of the foremost problems I observe in nudism is the division between what's normal and what's not. There are at times lengthy discussions as to what is acceptable and what's not. What people should be doing and what they shouldn't.
The embittered commentary over Facebook standards really doesn't accomplish a great deal. At best you're fighting for the open distribution of pornography because there is no agreed standard of normality. "Non-sexual" nudity is in and of itself a huge problem that leads to double standards. On the one hand humans are quite sexual beings. Were that not the case, pornography would have no hold or sway over people.
On the other hand it's not uncommon for non sexual nudists to admire the image of a woman and comment how sexy she looks.
In all honesty a woman who is sexually appealing to males will invoke that reaction no matter how she's dressed or not. It's ingrained in the collective culture. So long as you're immersed in that culture, there's no getting away from the mental suffering it brings.
This leads me to the change that has transpired in my own circumstances. The way I see it is you can either get on with what you believe in and simply enjoy it. Alternatively you can get embroiled in the turmoil of conflict between what people should and could be doing and why they can't.
When you clearly define your limitations you are thoroughly hemmed in by them. You not only resent your own situation because you can't embrace the freedom you yearn, you also resent others, thinking they are the cause of your problems.
In all honesty it's the limits within your own mind and what you think is possible or not that creates all your conflict.
If you have no shame about your body, about yourself or your conduct, you will walk openly as you please.
It's the limitations you place upon yourself that stops you. In your own mind you tell yourself, "if I do this, that will happen." You convince yourself so thoroughly it will happen, as surely as a tribesman will perish if he's been cursed to death by the village witch doctor pointing a bone at him, the same conviction will condemn you.
You can't change the world. You can however change yourself. If you undertake to do so and just live your own truth, the world will come round little by little. Perhaps most significantly, it doesn't really matter if it doesn't. So long as you live your life the way you want to and don't frown on others for the way they live, people won't frown upon you for the way you live. It's really as simple as that. The moment you start creating rules for yourself and others, others will create rules for you and everyone else.
Simply live as you wish to without worrying what everyone else is doing or thinking, and you'll soon discover a freedom that is unparalleled, and quite independent of your state of dress.
Steve Gough perhaps summed this all up with his simple statement, "Be yourself"