The Healing Journey of Naturism

The deck is gone

The deck has been completely deconstructed. The deck flooring has been saved and that is about it save for a few pieces of 2x6s that will find a use in the new deck.  This whole process of deconstruction is vital when one is engaged in the change process. As a former mental-health counsellor with a background in Jungian psychology, I learned that in order to move forward, one needs to let go of the past. Of course, it’s easy to say, but not so easy to do. We all have a host of hooks that are  connected to our pasts, hooks that are very reluctant to let us go forward.

Think of the work to change one’s self, as the magnum opus of one’s life. Ordinarily, one enters this work with the goal of getting past an issue that has seemed to almost disable one’s life. Perhaps it is a divorce, or the loss of a child, or some inexplicable anger or anxiety that just doesn’t want to let go of us. Engaging with a specialist who has skills is one necessary path that deals with the psyche; perhaps taking the medical route is also necessary where medications are critical because of a physical issue such as cancer or other condition; and for some, setting out on a life-changing journey is called for. I mention these so that you, my reader, don’t get the idea that there is one answer that is best for everyone. Likely, for most people, it will be a combination of any and all that will allow one to let go of “what is/was” and make the transformation to the desired state – feeling alive and invested.

Naturism is one of those journeys that take a person from a darker place to one that is filled with light. Ask almost any naturist and you will hear much the same thing – being fully present to sunlight in a nature setting is the ultimate in personal freedom. It really isn’t about other people, by that I mean one doesn’t need the presence of others to experience this transcendent state. Rather, the presence of others often gets in the way of that transcendence. Given the right circumstances of setting, a person gets to be fully present to herself or himself. The personal shadows are banished by light, at least for the duration of the moment of transcendence. It is at this time that one experiences a “preferred” version of self, a version that becomes a new hook for the psyche to grasp and hold while leaving the darker version of self.

Repetition of the experience creates a trail through the doubts and fears that have helped keep one hostage to depression and to the old beliefs of self. Taking off the clothes, literally, is matched by taking off the hooks that hold one hostage. The feelings of transcendence allow feelings of fear, anger, confusion, and a host of other disabling conditions to lose their stranglehold of power. Bit by bit, the old foundation is removed, one issue, one problem at a time. What is rotten in the old foundation is discarded. What is valued, and there is much about one that is worth saving, is kept. Using naturism as a catalyst, the self is put back together leaving the diseased parts out.

It is a personal journey, not a social journey. Naturism does have a social element that can be supportive of one’s transformation to a more authentic self. However, there is a danger in substituting “others” over the “self.” One can’t really be a whole and healthy person when the valuation of a new collective becomes a new hook a new distraction from the hard work of becoming the person one is meant to become.

Oh, Lordy, I have blathered on and likely have bored too many of my readers. Time for me to make a cup of tea and relax with another distracting Netflix offering on this cloudy, cold, and windy day.

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