Overcoming guilt, shame and sexual addiction.
For some of us, our relationship with our own sexuality can be a bit mixed to say the least. We can swing between avid enthusiasm about sex to feeling a niggling (or intense) sense of guilt and shame around it.
We may have grown up with a general sense of shame attached to our bodies. We may feel uncomfortable about our body image and have a sense that part of our body is “not okay” for whatever reason.
We might even have grown up with a feeling that, ‘there is something wrong with me’. We might have been taught to believe that we are ‘sinful’ and that we are ‘sinners’ so that we do not trust ourselves. This can create a background sense of self-doubt so that if we are enjoying something, whatever it is, we feel that we will have to pay for it later as we somehow ‘do not deserve’ to enjoy life.
None of this is helped by the way in which many religious institutions, unfortunately, seem to have taken the example of the typical tyrannical medieval monarch as their model for the Supreme Deity. All they knew was that power was linked with dominance, servitude and cruelty. The idea of a kind, compassionate and loving God was a bit beyond their imagination as they had no, or little, experience of kindness and compassion.
It seems to have escaped their notice that it does not make any sense for a “god” to create human beings with innate tendencies, which they have no choice but to be born with, then to punish them for those very tendencies. To a modern person, that hardly seems fair – or even sane.
All this absurd holdover from medieval times, means that we may have a sense that there is something wrong with us, that we will be found out, and sooner or later, we’ll be punished for our wrongs/sins, or whatever.
Retire Your Inner Tyrant.
Forgiving ourselves and becoming reconciled with ourselves go hand-in-hand. Learning to forgive ourselves makes it easier to forgive other people too. As we retire our inner tyrant we discover how to create happier, better and more fulfilling relationships. This reinforces our ability to be happy in our own skin and more accepting or ourselves, just as we are.
There is a very simple key which can help to free us from mixed feelings around our sexuality. It is simply this: whatever you do in life, do it with kindness. That includes sexual expression.
Consider this, whatever we think of as ‘the problem’ be it; ‘sex’, ‘money’, ‘power’ is not really the problem. The real problem is what we do to get those things. If we become devious, cunning and manipulative then that goes against our own inner ‘goodness’. It is offence against our own better nature.
If we objectify people, de-humanise them, lie to them, and just ‘use’ them for the sake of sex then it is our lack of kindness and compassion for others that’s the problem. Sex is not the problem, but sex is one of the places where our real problem becomes obvious. Sex just happens to be where our lack of caring for other people shows up. It means we are caught in an infantile state where we see other people as only existing to meet our needs and we need to grow up.
The way out of this is to cultivate kindness and caring for other people. What we need to do is to develop empathy and warmth toward the needs of others. If we want to be sexually active then we can stay sexually active and include kindness and compassion in that. What better way to transform our life and way of living than by bringing more caring into it?
If we are caught between sexual addiction and guilt and shame around it then cultivating kindness can help with that too. The sense of feeling compelled to do something then being swamped in guilt and shame afterwards is not uncommon.
As long as we are not doing something against the will of other people than we can use kindness to lift ourselves out of Sexual Addiction. Any time you feel that ‘compulsion’ then focus on kindness by imagining you are breathing in a out of your chest area and imagine you feel a warmth and caring there. Then imagine that warmth and caring flowing out through your eyes, towards the person you are thinking about. This will begin to soften the addiction and allow you to express higher aspects of yourself in your normal daily life, including in sexual activity too.
As you allow this kindness and caring to come into you, it will more and more come out when you think of, speak to, touch, caress or kiss another person. They will feel it and it will be healing for them and for you.
Wouldn’t that be a wonderful thing? To find a way to be true to yourself and not only become free of guilt and shame around it, but for it to become beneficial and healing to others too!
To learn how to forgive, or for more ideas on how forgiveness can empower you and help you connect with and express the best within you, look for Forgiveness is Power (by William Martin) at your favourite book supplier, or check out our free ebook, Four Steps to Forgiveness below.
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Four Steps to Forgiveness
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William Fergus Martin