It's vital for mindful acts of emotional and spiritual intimacy to steadily develop as a daily practice for healthy sex. To that end, Center for Healthy Sex has created daily meditations to help you reach your sexual and relational potential. (You can subscribe for free here.)
Even momentarily concentrating on healthy solutions rewires psychological patterns to receive and share healthy sexual love in the present. Here are three meditations with the themes of privacy, revenge, and integrity for you to ponder and practice this week.
Meditation 1: Privacy
"Reading is like the sex act -- done privately, and often in bed." -- Daniel J. Boorstin
For partners to feel safely open with each other, it's crucial to clarify standards of privacy between the both of them and between them and the outside world, for perceived privacy violations can trigger anger and hurt as one partner feels the other has trampled his or her boundaries and values. Is it permissible to read each other's letters and emails, to listen to phone messages, to scroll through call logs and text messages?
An invasion of privacy, such as snooping around for information that hasn't been willingly shared, can destroy trust. We all have an inner spy that can stoop to surreptitious means to satisfy idle curiosity or, more commonly, to allay nagging doubt. Distrust and fear can provoke many to act outside their usual integrity. But breaking boundaries in order to feel safe can have the opposite effect on a relationship. On the other hand, if we maintain open communication we can trust in that process to correct any wrongs in our relationship and resist being tempted to ferret out hidden information. Of course, if one partner breaks the commitment, s/he might reasonably surrender some privacy in order to rebuild trust, perhaps providing access to electronic devices and communications for a time.
Respecting privacy involves more than possessions or words. It's also valuing the sacredness of each person's emotions and inner processes, which s/he may or may not choose to reveal. Similarly, we can't assume the right to air unsolicited opinion and unwanted advice. We often embark on critical dissection of mates, children, family or friends without consideration of their privacy -- their personhood. Reflect on how often in your life unflattering information has been publicized rather than kept private, and the resulting hurt. Learn to draw, and respect, the line between healthy, agreed-upon levels of transparency and disrespectful display.
Daily healthy sex acts
- What were the standards of privacy in your family of origin? How does that programming inform your current relational attitudes?
- Today, notice how you protect your own personal privacy and that of others. Where do you need to relax boundaries? Where might you reinforce them? Find the healthy balance between controlling your reputation and compulsive disclosure.
- How does your private experience of the world manifest in your public persona? Can you share your private world, and would you want to?
Meditation 2: Revenge
"Before you begin on the journey of revenge, dig two graves." -- Confucius
Almost 4,000 years ago, Hammurabi's Code declared, "An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth." While originally designed to restrict punishment to fit the crime, this primitive law may be taken to extremes. That's because our limited human vantage point obscures all but the obvious outlines of an event -- especially one that hurt us. So most of us find justification for playing God or meting out karmic retribution, whether subtly as passive-aggressiveness or blatantly as abuse. In the midst of our pain, anyone seems an enemy, even loved ones. The ones we love.
When normal conflicts with a caregiver occur within the context of a secure, warm attachment, the child remains connected to the loving relationship, and thereby learns the healthy process of integrating simultaneous feelings of love and hate. But in emotionally insecure households, incidents of rage or hate shred the flimsy connection, and the child desires revenge -- one traumatic result of being unconnected to any larger context of caring. Later, those who were never taught -- by love -- how to accept and resolve conflicting emotions may find historical patterns frequently triggered, and re-experience the anger and sense of wrong experienced throughout childhood.
Demanding retribution for injustice might be fair, but violent payback never brings peace. The means must equal the end. The only antidote for revenge is self-love. How can we possibly invite love, compassion, and awareness when the fires of vengeance consume us? We must learn to place trust in ourselves, rather than depending so much on other people that their slightest betrayal destroys us. Thoughts or deeds of revenge always signal that we've made someone or something else our higher power. But there's nobody and nothing out there that can ever make us whole. Peace of mind, and true justice, is an inside job.
Daily healthy sex acts
- Have you ever had revenge sex to get back at an ex-lover? Rebound sex is revenge sex that involves an innocent bystander and creates a crazy web of karma. How has retaliation affected your relationships?
- Do you trust yourself today? Recall the last time you became overwhelmed with rage and vengefulness. Can you allow yourself to feel rage without revenge fantasies? Acknowledge the vengeful, unforgiving side of yourself. We can only heal what we can handle.
- Whenever people, institutions or doctrines invoke feelings of revenge in you, wish them well. Their growth is your growth.
Meditation 3: Integrity
"No act loses us; no violence we're subjected to destroys us; no debasement chases out the divine, and no one can take the divine from us." -- Daniel Odier
When you replay your darkest moments, experiencing the hurt and injustice of your worst trauma, there's one aspect of every tragic memory that's easy to overlook. This particular aspect survives all your worst times and will attend any possible suffering to come. What could possibly be present for all your pain, you ask? You. Your consciousness is the integrating factor in every second of your life -- the you who is reading these words right now. (Hello!) You are here. This self-awareness of yours today was surely with you in every twinkling of your history, and is made possible by your personal integrity.
The word integrity comes from the Latin integritas, meaning whole or complete. In mathematics, integers are whole numbers, either positive or negative (or zero, the very real quality of no-thing.) To integrate is to unite separate parts into a whole. Life, the ultimate unity, accordingly expresses integrity, and we are part of that whole. And that greater integrating force propels us onward through all our experience. Psychologically we're driven toward individuation -- the emergence of a fully differentiated, integrated, central self. In such a master scheme, every step you take leads to this goal either through validation or correction.
To operate outside one's integrity really means to be ruled by dualistic extremes -- to lose track of one's personal through-line. Without the transparency of intimacy, our desires and motives stay irreconcilably partitioned, separate and secret, until we can't tell our selves from our shadows. Just as the integrity of an object signifies its soundness, the same may be said for persons. What we truly know to in life, whether positive, negative, or naught, becomes reflected via the integrity of our consciousness and the conscious acts it creates.
Daily healthy sex acts
- Do you follow through on your intentions? Today, for the sake of integrity, stick to the plan. If you say you're going to do something at a certain time, do it. Notice how often throughout the day you casually undermine your own plans.
- On each corner of a piece of paper, write one complete sentence retelling: your earliest memory, your worst memory, your best memory, and your most recent memory. Circle all the times you wrote "I," "me," "mine," or "my" and draw a line from each circle to the center of the paper. Cultivate a sense that you are not your experiences. You're the all-embracing human being centering and integrating all you experience.
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