Integrating Your Shadow with Sexual Healing

The first time I was introduced to the concept of my “shadow” was at my very first Ishayas Ascension Meditation weekend immersion retreat.

During that weekend, the Ishaya monks explained the shadow as the parts of ourselves we were told were unlovable when we were young, and therefore tried to suppress and repress.

We suppressed these parts of ourselves in order to ensure that we continued receiving the love and acceptance that was absolutely vital to our survival as young children.

Unfortunately, many of these shadow parts deemed unworthy were actually very beautiful and vital aspects of our basic humanity.  By exiling these aspects of ourselves viewed as unacceptable, we also shut ourselves off from the beauty and intelligence which resides within them.

This shows up most clearly for us in the realm of sexuality. Because of the world we live in, there is no way any of us could have escaped receiving the message at some point in our lives that sexual pleasure, in all its many varied forms of expression, is shameful, scary, somewhat dirty, and guilt-inspiring.

As a result of this messaging, we have shut ourselves off, as individuals and as a society, from the wealth of power and vital energy that our sexual pleasure provides us with, and which is our inherent birthright.

This is the tragedy that we see playing out in the world we live in. The epidemic proportions of sexual dysfunction, porn addiction, relationship pain and suffering, depression, anxiety,  as well as the increased sense of disconnection and isolation we are experiencing as a society.

Not to mention the toxic and inhumane legislation happening in the United States right now, with the rolling back of civil right protections for LGBTQ people, women, and immigrants.

This can all be traced back to a core of disconnection from our basic humanity, and the repudiation of one of our most vital and precious resources –  Our right to innocent, joyful, and shame-free sexual connection and pleasure.

For a deeper understanding of the connection between pleasure and world peace, listen to my Sex Is Medicine Radio interview with the psychological researcher, speaker, and writer, Dr. Ron Goldman. Dr. Goldman shares his research which found that the more pleasure oriented a society was, the more peaceful and well balanced it was.

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