Category Archives: Naturism

“Taking Off” Negativity

Since dropping out of college almost 3 years ago, I’ve struggled with depression.

One of the methods of coping I’ve found is treating my negative emotions like clothes and, like clothes, “taking them off.”

Doubt: Am I good enough to be the person I want to be?

Fear: I can’t make it. I don’t want to make it.

Anger: Why did I do that?

Sadness: I don’t deserve all that you’ve given me, God. Give it to someone else.

sword28
Suguha — “Sword Art Online”

Undressing to shower this morning, my mind going at a million miles an hour as I thought about what colleges to, before the end of the month, apply to, and what classes to take, I stopped suddenly, struck by a desire.

Saying a prayer — trusting in God that I had this desire for a reason — before I stepped in the shower, I left the bathroom and walked around my house naked.

It was a liberating and strange feeling.

I felt like I was in a place I shouldn’t be, but was also in a place I was meant to be. Which makes sense: Though naked is one’s natural state of being, a kitchen is not a place for butts. (I was careful to avoid inadvertently touching a surface.)

Image result for germs are bad

I even went outside.

Closing the front door behind me, I stood in my yard, not minding the cold breeze, looking at the multi-colored clouds as the sun rose.

I don’t mean to sound like a hippie but, being in nature in my natural state, I felt cleansed.

My mind was like a dirty dish, and being naked was the soap, water, and sponge that cleaned it.

Image result for clean plate dirty plate Related image

Returning to the bathroom minutes later, letting the shower’s water clean me, I felt like I finally knew what it meant to “take off” my negative emotions, like my doubt and fear:

To “take off” my negativity is to put my trust in God — to trust that God has given me the thoughts, feelings, and desires I have for a reason. And that reason is: To spread God’s light in a world in darkness.

After being naked outside, being in my most vulnerable state for the world to see, I felt like I could do anything. I thought to myself If I can be naked outside, than acing that job interview should be a walk in the park.

I’m sorry if this comes across as me being prideful. Pride is a vice that I struggle with.

It’s just: After showing all of myself, I felt that I could be all of myself — I felt that I could put to use all that God has given me, and I could put it to use for a purpose that brought me closer to Him and satisfied my desire to make something of my life: my desire to not live my life on the couch.

Being Naked Outside

This morning, I felt a need to turn my desire into action. A need to no longer just think about what a part of me wished I would do. A need to actually do it.

So, saying a prayer, I took off my clothes and opened my bedroom door. I didn’t want to be naked in the privacy of my room anymore.

Making sure I was alone — the other occupants of the house might not approve of me being naked, and naked was, I felt, no state to have such a conversation in — I walked to the living room.

Nudity was reserved for the bedroom or the bathroom. So it was… interesting… to be naked in a room that was neither. Walking around the living room, I felt like I was seeing it with new eyes. I felt like, all my life, I had been wearing a “Clothes Filter,” and now the filter was off: My eyes were as naked as my body.

I was naked this morning because I realized I didn’t want to feel like my nakedness was something I needed to hide. I wanted to not be ashamed to be as God made me. And I felt like, as long as I was in my room behind a closed door, I was.

It was like my body was a candle whose light I had covered with my hands. And now the heat and hot wax was burning my fingers and palms. The candle was telling me “Let my light shine.”

Before going back to my room, I went outside. I stood right in front of my door. Though I didn’t see anyone, I didn’t want to step out into the yard because 1) I didn’t want people to see me, and 2) I didn’t want to have to wash my feet.

It felt wrong, and right, to be naked outside.

Wrong because: I had been taught that nudity was for certain times and certain places, and outside in the morning wasn’t one of them.

Right because: I was in nature in my natural state. I didn’t even mind that it was cold. As soon as I closed the door behind me and looked at the trees in the distance, I thought Oh my gosh. I’m naked outside.

Part of me wanted to go inside. Another part of me wanted to stay outside, breathing in the air and looking at the scenery.

If someone saw me standing in front of my door, I like to think that I wouldn’t mind. I like to think that I would say to them “I am in nature in my natural state. There is nothing indecent about this. This is how God made me. And this is the world that God made.”

Like in the living room, I felt like I was seeing the outdoors with new eyes. And, thus, I felt like I was seeing myself with new eyes. It’s a hard feeling to describe. The best way I know how to describe it is: Do something that you would do clothed, but do it naked. Does doing it feel different now?

On a side note:

Reading the writing of some people who enjoy being naked, I feel like such people see being naked as something they need. Like they can’t be at peace if they don’t take their clothes off from time to time. And, I don’t want to feel like that.

If I feel like I need to be naked, I risk turning my body into an idol. A second God. Instead of saying my morning prayers, I’m taking my clothes off because I’m thinking They’re so confining this isn’t right I want to be free.

To get back on track:

My experience this morning re-affirmed my belief that nakedness is sacred.

Sacred in this way: It is not for all times and all places.

That’s the reason why I have a problem with nudism: A problem with doing everything that I would clothed, with everyone I would do it with, only doing it naked.

When I am naked, I am as God created me. Thus, when I am in such a state, it feels wrong to be doing something as, for lack of a better word, trivial as riding a bike or playing a board game.

I’m not trying to say “I’m better than you” to the people who enjoy doing those things naked. I’m just trying to say: “It doesn’t feel right.”

And, I think I know why it doesn’t feel right:

It doesn’t feel right for the same reason that a naked man and woman, instead of hugging like this…

Image result for running and hugging gif

…do an awkward side hug.

It doesn’t feel right because our naked body ultimately isn’t meant for riding a bike, or sitting cross-legged on the floor in front of a game board, or giving side hugs.

What our naked body is ultimately meant for, is making this happen:

vape-pregnant-women-e1421672105941

A man shall leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.
~Genesis 2:24

What Does It Mean To “Follow Your Heart?”: Part 2

Profession: A declaration of belief.

Click here for Part 1.

On Lou’s blog, she replied to my comment on her post “Listen to your heart, you have the answers”:

Me: Thank you for this advice. You’re right: While listening to others is important, ultimately the choice to do or not to do something is up to you, so you’ve got to carefully consider what is best for you. But: Is it possible, after listening to peoples’ advice and getting what you want to get out of it, and following your heart, to still end up on the wrong path? The reason I ask that question is: No one is perfect. We all fall short to some extent. We can’t see where every path leads.

Lou: I don’t really believe there is ever a wrong path. I’m not a believer in mistakes either, every decision we make teaches us a lesson.

Me: That’s true: Every decision we make teaches us a lesson. So, in that way, there is no “wrong path.” I realize now that my question “Is it possible to end up on the wrong path?” stemmed from fear: Fear that I would come to a point in my life where it was no longer possible to learn from my mistakes — no longer possible to make right what I [had] gotten wrong. Thank you for replying to my comment.

The reason I would be afraid that “I would come to a point in my life where it was no longer possible to learn from my mistakes” is because, months ago, there was a time where I was considering suicide.

I was considering suicide because I realized that it wasn’t possible for me to follow my heart. It wasn’t possible to make my dream a reality.

I did end up following my heart in the sense that I came to the realization that suicide wasn’t the answer.

But, still: That brush with death left me doubting the notion of following one’s heart: The notion that “I just have to do what I believe is best for me, and everything will turn out OK.”

Because: What do you do when you realize you can’t do what you believe is best?

What I did is despair.

But, reaching out to others as a result of my despair, I learned an important truth from a loved one. When they learned that I had considered suicide, these were their words to me:

God doesn’t love you for what you do. For how much money you make, or books you write, movies you produce, people you influence, etc. God loves you for you. In terms of the world, Jesus’ life was a waste. He died at 33 a failure, penniless. God doesn’t measure our success by the standards of the world. We do that.

As I said in Part 1: Putting one’s faith in God doesn’t guarantee that you will live a life without struggle.

Which is why, when it comes to how to live one’s life:

On the one hand: I don’t want to say “Follow your heart,” because when you live for the fulfillment of your own desires, you could go to a dark place when you, one day, realize: I have a desire that I can’t fulfill.

On the other hand: I don’t want to say “Put all of your trust in God,” because if you are dependent on God for everything, like I felt I was when I emailed Lou, it can make you feel powerless. It can make you feel like you don’t have the means to improve your life. It can leave you stewing in your misery, waiting for a savior to do what that very same savior gave you the ability to do yourself: Make your life better.

Image result for 2 timothy 1:7

What I’ve learned from what I’ve been through so far is:

I shouldn’t always follow my heart, but neither should I give up all the power that I do have.

What is necessary, as the TheOrginalPhoenix pointed out to me when she commented on Part 1, is balance:

Following my heart when I feel it is within my power to better myself, and baring all that I am to God when I, in my imperfection, fall short.

On a side note:

The desire to bare all is one reason why I believe that what Lou does, be naked in nature, is beautiful.

We were made to bare all — made to show all that is on the outside and the inside.

The man and his wife were both naked, and felt no shame. (Genesis 2:25)

God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. (Genesis 1:31)

Lou and I ultimately see the world from a different point of view. And I’m alright with that.

Why?

Because, in Lou, I see a desire for God. God just goes by another name.

Question the beauty of the earth, question the beauty of the sea, question the beauty of the air distending and diffusing itself, question the beauty of the sky…question all these realities. All respond: “See, we are beautiful.”
~St. Augustine

Girl hiding

Am I Evangelizing?

Note: This post is inspired by Jeffrey Overstreet’s review of Timbuktu (2015).

I’ve been told that I’m not doing enough to evangelize — that I’m not doing enough to “go out into the world and preach the Gospel to all creation.” (Mark 16:15)

Lately I’ve been wondering the same thing: Am I doing enough to spread Jesus’ words?

As a result: My thoughts on all this:

I see God as the mountain in Journey.

We all look at the mountain from a different perspective, we all have our own expectations for what will be at the top of that mountain, but here’s the thing:

It’s the same mountain.

Image result for journey video game cooperative

No matter who we are, what we believe, or what we’ve been through, we all want what is true, what is beautiful, and what is good.

To an atheist, what is “good” might be not accepting anything with blind faith — accepting something only when the facts and logic line up.

To a naturist, what is “beautiful” might be feeling dirt between their toes as they stand, naked, in a forest, alone in nature in their natural state.

To a Buddhist, what is “true” might be that meditation, like food, water, and air, is essential to one’s well-being.

As a Catholic, I believe that all goodness, truth, and beauty ultimately comes from God. When we praise what is good, when we seek what is true, and when we recognize beauty, we are drawing nearer to God. Even if we don’t intend to.

Which is why, for example, I’m glad when someone makes the choice to become an atheist:

Because I see in that person a desire for goodness, truth, and beauty.
A desire to not sit on one’s hands, lazily content with one belief or another.
A desire to “test all things and hold fast to what is good.” (1 Thessalonians 5:21)
A desire to go on a journey.
A desire to climb the mountain.

Related image

So, when it comes to evangelizing:

I don’t want to get in peoples’ faces, shouting “Jesus is lord!”

I don’t see how that draws people to God. I only see it pissing people off.

What I want to do is:

Encourage all of you, regardless of your beliefs, to continue 1) seeking truth, 2) recognizing beauty, and 3) praising goodness.

If you do that, and do it with love and empathy for your fellow human being than, one day, you will find yourself at the top of the mountain.

Image result for journey video game