It’s hard for many people unfamiliar with the idea of developing a sexuality intentionally to imagine how one works in the inner sexual life.
How do you uncover the shadows that keep you stuck in sexual ruts, dissatisfaction, disconnection, frustration and unhappiness?
How do you go from famine to feast, from ignorance to confidence, or from victim to empowered?
How do you tame your scorpion?
There are many ways in and around sexuality, as many ways to heal, and unlimited modes of expression.
In our sexual shadow work, several themes emerge: Wanting to feel more vibrantly alive and whole, wanting to be more connected and intimate, wanting more joy and pleasure, and wanting to be fully self-expressed.
The sexual shadows that stand in the way are many, and too often we make up excuses for why things are the way they are, rather than look honestly at how we created the situations we are in.
And for good reason…it’s deeply confronting and it is not easy work.
Yet it can be so cathartic and satisfying.
The thing about our shadows is that we don’t engage them on purpose.
We don’t set ourselves up consciously to feel unloved or unwanted, or to let our predator self run amok, or to let others take advantage of us while we people please, or to diminish our own pleasure and joy because we don’t know how to speak up without hurting feelings.
Our (sexual) shadows run us by accident, by default. The solutions and the ways of healing them come in a few powerful categories.
Here is a brief primer of the inroads into the most fundamental sexual shadows.
Boundaries that Need to be Set
Sometimes we have carried something for our whole lives we need to lay down. We need to set a strong boundary to say, “Enough!” We get to reclaim our power and agency in the act of powerfully making a boundary so that we can occupy our own space and autonomy. We get to say, “This is where you end and I begin.” “This is what I want/don’t want.”
Removing the Patterns that Keep You Disconnected
We block ourselves from having love, connection, intimacy and joy in myriad ways. It is the work of our lifetimes to learn to fully receive love and BE love. This is really a process of us coming back to our natural born state, that of love. When we open to it, and to our full range of feeling, we become fully embodied and alive in a way we may have prevented ourselves from feeling our whole life through. We get to open ourselves to more love and deeper intimacy.
Understanding the Predator – Prey Circuit
We all have a predator instinct, that scorpionic self that covertly goes for what it wants, that sometimes strikes or lashes out to get it, and which will do whatever it takes to eat, to nourish, to survive, to win. Sex and death are interconnected, and even the word orgasm means “little death.”
We also know what it is to be preyed upon, to be stalked, watched, chased, wanted, taken. What is our relationship to sexual power, to dominance and submission, to predator and prey? This is one of the most confronting parts of our sexual shadowwork. This circuit runs in all of us in some way.
Meeting & Relating to Your Protector
Your Protector is the one who is always with you, looking out for you, managing the risks you take, and sometimes keeping you from the things you really want out of fear of what might happen. Your protector is your risk manager, assessing what risks are okay to take, and which ones are too much to handle, for fear of being hurt.
We will always feel pain as deep as we will love, and our Protector, as much as they love us and want the best for us, can really get in the way of the love we seek to experience out of fear. Loving requires vulnerability and risk-taking to be deep and true. How is your Protector working for you and with you? Getting to know and understand this part is critical.
When we bring light to the shadows we have been living with sexually, we come home to ourselves, we get more of ourselves and more of our life. We start to run the show, which means far more satisfaction and fulfillment, and a life fully lived.