I made a startling realization today, one that has been right in front of me ever since I started on this naturist journey, but one that I hadn't thought much about until today.
I work in the health care field, and that's the kind of job in which you see a lot of simple nudity during the course of a normal day. Helping patients change, assisting with medical procedures, nudity just happens. Since I have become a nudist, I don't even give it a second's thought. In fact I've noticed myself staring at times; not gawking at anyone, I was just simply in another world and not at all affected by the nude body in front of me. I'm so comfortable with nudity that I barely notice when someone else may have a problem with where I'm looking. I've chuckled at my own comfort level before, but today I noticed what it can be like for others who don't share my feelings.
I was to assist a patient in taking a shower, and I was alarmed by his bashfulness. He was so afraid of being nude that he tried to shower with his gown on. After that was removed for him, he kept his underwear on and showered that way. There were people in the room, but nobody else in the shower and nobody watching him. I guess I really take it for granted that I am unashamed and comfortable because this man's attitude towards simple nudity really impacted me. After all, this was a professional setting with trained health care professionals.
What I realized about this is that nudists and naturists don't only shed their clothing, but they also shed their shame. They are freed not only from the restriction of clothing but also from the feeling that their bodies are unsightly and need to be hidden. I spend a lot of time thinking about the benefits of naturism but I don't seem to pay much attention to how restrictive shame can be. I found it sad that this gentleman had such a hard time removing his clothing in front of professional nursing staff; he made it look like the hardest thing he ever had to do. I wouldn't have given it a thought, and what that means to me is freedom. The shift in my attitude towards nudity has blessed me with the freedom to not find my own body shameful, to not find other bodies shameful, and the freedom to be happy with myself and who I am regardless of where I am or who I am in front of. Think about that for a second. That freedom is priceless.
Shame can be so terribly suffocating. All you nudists out there ought to be thankful for the wonderful freedom you enjoy; not just freedom from clothing, but freedom to love yourself and not find it shameful. Your body is a wonderful blessing given to you and only you. Love it, find it beautiful, and feel no shame.