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Coming Home to the Garden

Coming Home to the Garden

The Context of the Sexual Wound

Dear Reader;

Welcome to Part Two in a series of writings on Healing the Primary Sexual Wound.

Part Two: On the context of the sexual wound.

Albrecht Dürer, Adam and Eve, 1504, engraving

One could arguably say that the central question of humankind has to do with the nature of suffering: what is its meaning, why does it exist, and what is to be done?

But if this is question number one, question number two surely invites us to understand the purpose and meaning of the shame and harm we hold around sexuality. Whether it is being cast out from the garden in the Judeo-Christian tradition, the history of sexual crimes committed by celibate priests, the swaths of fabrics used to conceal the feminine in Islamic traditions, or the brutal circumcision of children in tribal traditions, what is this power which drives humans to war, to rape, to abuse, and yet also holds the potential for profound intimacy. 

What is its highest form, and what is its shadow?

“When we have lived in the dark
for so long
the first shafts of light
hurt our eyes
and this is so
with the body
and the spirit
as they heal
If we expect this phenomenon
then we will not be confused
when it comes

And if we have known such dark
for so many years
we may not even know
that light exists
beyond a faint glow
we may not even have dreamt yet
of the brilliance
that awaits

And so
the one who hides
her sexual power away
may not have any idea
of who she has yet
to become
And the one who seems confident
in what he believes
is his sexual prowess
may not have any idea
of the depth
that is lacking
from his wisdom
and his experience
of sexual love

Both of these two
are the product
of shame
sexual shame
emotional shame
spiritual shame
the voice that says
hide the truth
of who you are
so you will not
be hurt..”

~ Freeing the Sexual Self

We live in a dualistic realm. Most religious traditions attempt to address this, often cultivating a belief that duality is a curse of some kind, a symptom of unconscious and overriding ego, darkness or even evil. Yet whenever we live from a view marked by experiences of victimization and meaninglessness, we suppose a chaotic universe. Whenever we pit ourselves against an opposing force, rather than surrendering to integration of the whole, we throw away our power. We give it directly to our perceived enemies. 

So if we are not victims, how do we understand the trauma and shaming so endemic to sexual experience on a global level? 

Photographer: Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images

Sexual wounding is not only prevalent, but I suggest that it is universal.  There is no one who has escaped. Some may believe they are free spirits and therefore untarnished, or some may say that sexuality is not that important to them, and so they feel they are beyond its influence. Some may even feel they are masters, delving deeply into esoteric approaches and tantric studies, determined to rise beyond old voices of judgement and control. But if we stand in a place of acceptance that the challenges of our lives are intentionally valuable as catalysts to our expansion, how does this shed light on sexual trauma and shame? If the purpose of shadow is to reveal where we have blocked the light, what does sexual suppression tell us about the journey of the collective Soul?

If we consider that the further we pull back and create tension with the bow, the further the arrow will fly, then we begin to understand the purpose of our darkest shadows. I read recently that scientists attempted to grow trees under a dome, but the trees did not thrive due to the absence of wind. The stress of developing against a contrasting force is what generates strength. Without the wind, the trees had no way to outgrow the weakness of their protection. 

We can find this dynamic everywhere we look in the natural world; it is the central principle found within the true karmic nature of being. And the closer we come to the light, the more powerfully dark is the oppositional energy required. We only truly see the beauty of the candle’s light in a darkened room. 

Photo by Zac Cain on Unsplash

If our overarching journey is a stepping away from oneness with the Creator so that we may one day know a glorious return, then is it possible that the taste of divine bliss we come to know through our sexual natures, is the memory of our own union with Source? In its most whole and rich form, sexual expression expands far beyond genitally-based pleasure. When this energy becomes fully alive, we are transported across dimensions, in an encompassing remembering of absolute beauty and love. Complete sexual surrender is much more than pleasure, it is encompassing ecstasy. It may be that not everyone has touched this experience yet, but knowing it is the vastness which awaits, tells us a great deal about the impulse toward reunion in our lives. 

This is the Divine itself, Spirit expressed in the physical. It is a means through which human beings may expand their consciousness beyond separation, beyond material limitation. It is a gift given to every child from the moment of incarnation. 

And so, what more perfect way to catalyze our coming home to God/Goddess, than to dare to confront the darkest regions of our sexual shadow. The most potent joy provides the most acute source of polarized contrast. Where we are most vulnerable, we are poised to gain the most strength. Where our desire is the most vivid, we are subject to the greatest lessons in the illusions of loss. 

And what do we find at the heart of this shadow? Where ecstatic union brings us closer to Spirit, the legacy of sexual patterning fills us with loathing and shame. Where life force energy reminds us we are creators, sexual wounding makes us helpless, damaged victims. Where sacred sexual expression teaches us permission to invite profound power and joy into our being, sexual oppression denies us permission in every creative and sensual arena of our lives. 

If grief is love expressing through loss, then shame is divine presence expressing through the denial of holy desire, and numbness is the language of unhealed pain. So long as we are called to remember an experience of Heaven, we are asked to reckon with the gates of Hell. 

Is it possible that our remembering of the enduring purity of union holds an answer to human suffering? How could it not be so, given that each soul incarnates in order to grow through contrast and challenge into one who is ready to return to the garden.

Why do leaders go to war? To proclaim an identity through dominance and ownership. Why do they seek this? Because they have disconnected from their own remembering of union with love and bliss. 

Why do men suppress women? Fear of feminine sexual and creative power triggers the need to feel in control. Why do races and cultures oppress one another?  Belief in the identity of separation, rather than expanding into the joy of one Source, one soul. Why do humans harm their Great Mother? Blindness to the life force of all living beings. Why does our species suffer so greatly? We turned away from our birthright of joy, so that through our karmic, hero’s journey, we might someday return to Oneness with all Creation. 

If duality is the theatre of the illusion of separation, then the shaming of our creative force is the theatre of the illusion of powerlessness. And we all know there is nothing so dangerous and cruel as a shamed and powerless heart. 

If separation is indeed an illusion, then whether we know it or not, like it or not, we are all intimately entwined with one another, and that which I cleanse and transform in my own energy field, I do not do so just for myself but for you, and you, and you. As I expand into loving consciousness, so does every being who meets me on the same level of frequency. As I rise so do you. As you release into ecstasy, so do all the interconnected souls whom you love. Not only is this a path of transformation for all humankind, there is no liberation without it. 

Every man carries the cellular memories of the fathers who beat their sons if they showed tenderness or vulnerability or fear. Every woman carries the karmic memory of the suppression of her beauty and the rape of her innocence. And thus, every man or woman walks with the power within to cleanse, heal and reclaim. Every one of us has the capacity to drink in the lessons of our return to the garden. To find our way home to wholeness. 

Neda Agha-Soltan was a young Iranian woman shot by a sniper during protest marches in 2009.  Her story is remarkable in so many ways, but most notably, on the day she would later be shot and killed, she was approached by the Gasht-e Ershad, the morality police of Iran. These women spoke to her, one of them saying, “please don’t come out looking so beautiful, because the Basij (the militia) target beautiful girls and they will shoot you. I am also a psychologist, and I know the danger of beauty to these men.” For Neda, a documentary based on interviews with her family, speaks to this at 42:30.

Neda’s story says it all, revealing the root of the fear which has driven our species, laid bare for all to see in this fundamentalist murder. At the same time, her place in our collective experience reveals the power of life force beauty, waiting to be reclaimed. Study the story of Neda, and you will find the root of our primary, sexual wound. 

Our sexual, sensual, creative and vital presence takes shape in countless forms, all of which are born out of a childhood grace. Imagine if every soul acknowledged the profound value of this deep truth telling, and together we were to create a world where children are safe in their purity, adolescents are free to claim their beauty, and adults fill their lives with the joy of connection, creation and reunion. Imagine if we all took this seriously, and reclaimed our own powerful life force. Imagine our collective recreation of the garden, never to be lost again.

much love,



Healing Sexual Shame

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