Embody Your Full Range Of Feelings & Desires
Written by Martina Hughes
I can still feel the first shrinking, the cringe, knowing that what I was feeling in my body was something I had to hide.
My memory of that time is fuzzy, I can see the unit where we lived, but I can’t remember my bedroom. I was only 7 years old, and I had feelings of arousal, I instinctively knew that these feelings were to be hidden away.
Looking back, I see there was no space for these feelings, both in my parents’ lives and in our culture.
What is it about strong sensations and feelings moving through the body, that sense of intensity, that seems to cause shrinking and contraction?
Feeling arousal is something that is a very natural part of being a human.
Arousal can vary from feeling excitement at receiving an acknowledgement, the opening that comes with enjoying nature, experiencing deep connection with a friend or the particularly high sensation that comes with sexual arousal.
Many people are numb to arousal, numb to feeling sensations, both subtle and strong, and others spend their lives chasing the highs of strong sensations in the body.
This can create a struggle, a struggle to feel and be present with the full range and capacity of what can be felt in the body.
Often, the people I work with struggle with sexual desires - either feeling nothing at all sexually or the opposite, feeling overwhelmed with sexual desires.
In my own exploration what I have found sitting underneath either of those experiences, is shame.
The shame that it’s not okay to have sexual feelings, the shame that I am not good enough, the shame that I shouldn’t be having these feelings and the overwhelming impulse and desire to have someone else validate the experience.
The only true way to liberation I have found is to have compassion for ourselves and our limitations and to learn to validate ourselves, to finally give ourselves the permission that we have been waiting for.
I know that my pathway through my teens and twenties was one of either hiding or exaggerating my sexuality.
Both experiences were rooted in disconnection from my body.
There was a lot of contraction and hiding that caused significant pain and distress for me. I was terrified of being seen for who I truly am, and yet so desperately wanting to be seen for who I truly am, and how I truly feel.
I was 31 the first time I felt truly seen, and it dramatically changed my life. The places where I had contracted, judged and limited myself were suddenly opened.
Over the last 17 years, I have been stripping away the shame, the pain, the contraction and the limitation.
Realising and releasing sexual shame, allowing others to truly see my feelings, learning to trust my body, and how life moves through me.
No other person can give me the freedom to feel, the freedom to be sexual or feel sexy, to feel sexual desire, the courage to be vulnerable.
But what I have noticed is that being around other women and men who give themselves permission, expands my personal range of permission.
With Love, Martina
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