We Are All Works of Art Risking Authenticity

Risking authenticity

As a naturist, I get to meet others who are comfortable in their own skin. Some I meet in the face-to-face world, and some I meet in the world of social media. Regardless of where we may have met, the people are real. They have families, they have jobs, they have friends, and they do their best like everyone else to have meaningful lives. No matter how you look at them, they simply come out looking like normal people, because that is exactly what they are – normal. For those who are not naturists or nudists, this is hard to understand, how I can say they are normal when they are so obviously naked in a world that is obsessed with covering up their bodies which are natural. We’re all born naked. We aren’t our clothing and shouldn’t be defined by what we wear or don’t wear.

Clothing is a cover-up – a hiding when conditions in our environment don’t demand clothing. Clothing is supposed to be functional. However, we use clothing to strut our stuff, or to give ourselves authority, or simply to hide in anonymity. Yet, as soon as one removes the clothing, the situation changes immediately – authority is gone with the exception of any real authority that comes simply from being older and perhaps wiser; lust is diminished as nude human bodies become the norm – we are all familiar with the use of provocative clothing, the skimpier the better, to entice and exploit.

Clothing is essentially a poor means of hiding from ourselves. Removing our clothing forces us to finally deal with the truth of who we are. Everyone has baggage, has skeletons in their closets. Everyone has been wounded in life and has scars – some visible but most invisible because they are scars to the heart and soul – the psyche. The challenge with being without clothing is to take the next step and expose the scars and do the work that would heal those scars.

How does one recognize these scars after so many years of cover-up  and denial? Look for heat. Track your emotions to find what was present or happening when fear made an appearance. What was happening or present in the environment when anger or joy entered? What sounds? What smells? – All of these are triggers that date back to the woundings of the psyche. Track these over time and patterns will emerge that paint a fairly clear picture.

So then what? Well, one begins by realising that the wounds are old, that they are not the present circumstances. Then, one has to accept that the wounding did happen and that it can’t be undone by drugs, exercise, therapy or salvation in some church. The wounding happened – end of story. Now, one has to begin the process of lessening the unconscious power of the wounding over our present life. This is where therapy of some sort comes in. We gave to take ownership of ourselves rather than leave ownership in the hands of someone who has wounded us, someone who may even be presently deceased. If the soul is to be truly healed, we can’t give our power away to someone else – a spouse, a therapist, a guru, or some authority out there – somewhere – who will save us from ourselves and take away our sins and pain.

No, the buck stops with us. We can’t hide from ourselves and our own authority and responsibility over ourselves. Strip off the clothes and expose the scars – be vulnerable. And then, risk it all to change, to heal. Then through the eyes of others, and our own mirrors, we become true works of art.

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