Joy had a short and simple post with this image and the suggestion to “trust yourself.” It was left at that.
It all seems so simple, but that idea of self-trust isn’t so common in our modern world. We are told to trust our economists, our politicians, our bosses and co-workers, our clergy – well just about anybody and everybody but ourselves. It makes you wonder just how that came about.
I did some digging and came up with a short article in Psychology Today, by Rick Hensen called, Trust Yourself. Rick concludes his article with:
Be your whole self; it’s your whole self that you can trust. This day, this week, this life—see what happens when you bet on yourself, when you back your own play. See what happens when you let yourself fall backward into your own arms, trusting that they will catch you.
Somehow, we end up trusting the roles people play, the idea of them as more knowledgeable than we are. After all, the collective we live in has given authority to these leaders of state, church, and so on. However, when it comes to individuals, we aren’t very trustworthy at all. Why? Because we don’t trust ourselves.
We don’t trust ourselves because we know the darkness that lurks beneath the surface. We know that we aren’t trustworthy because we lie to ourselves and others. We would trust ourselves if only we were saints. Growing up we were taught to distrust ourselves because we were flawed, owners and holders of original sin. We heard the inner voices that confirmed our flawed self. It’s a catch twenty-two situation.
Naturism, for me, has provided a crack in that way of thinking. Risking being clothing free allowed my body a chance to speak for itself. When confronted with the fact of one’s body, the reality of it; one has no choice but to be honest. When seeing others similarly nude, one becomes gentler with oneself. This body is me! For good or bad, this body is me. We become attuned to our bodies. We begin to care for our bodies in spite of any fashion magazine tries to assert the disastrous idea that we shouldn’t trust our bodies unless they conform to a certain standard that somehow is constantly shifting.
Once we accept the truth of our bodies, another crack appears and we begin to listen to our inner self, begin to trust the inner self. It isn’t easy work. There are so many voices, including a few within our own selves that want to claim that authority, wanting us to trust them because we are not trustworthy.
So, as both Joy and Rick suggest, we need to claim our own authority, to bet on ourselves, and trust ourselves. Naturism is a pathway that can help us with this.