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Messages of Control

Messages of Control

Healing the Primary Sexual Wound: Part Two Exercise

Dear Reader;

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

Part Two Exercise: On our place in the collective sexual shadow

If we understand that our soul’s journey is undertaken by choice, If we accept that the ultimate purpose of our life challenges is to generate an initiation into consciousness; then if we take the time to examine experiences of contraction in our lives, we will be led directly toward opportunities for expansion, already primed and waiting for our courageous exploration.

In this exercise you are asked to sit quietly and centre yourself. Let all the thoughts and distractions of the day fall away and open the blank screen of your mind's eye. 

As you sit watching the screen, please invite yourself to feel small and young. You are a child or perhaps an adolescent, and you are experiencing a deep desire. It can be a physical desire, a sexual desire, a longing for a special gift, for love, for touch, ownership or expression. It can be a powerful hunger, or a small, wishful voice, so long as you can identify it as desire that is meaningful and holds the promise of pleasure for you. 

The beautiful Sky

Before you pay attention to outcome, please notice simply how desire feels, in your body, in your heart, in your being. Does it feel good to want something? Does it feel possible? Does desire feel inspiring, is there a power within desire that moves you to speak, to act, to follow through? Or does desire feel dangerous, limited, shameful? Is desire your secret, or something you share? Do you have a sense that you know what to do with this desire? Is it a familiar or isolated feeling?

Now that you have connected with a memory of what it feels like to desire, let that memory play out like a movie in your mind’s eye. What happens next? 

Are you able to voice your desire, and are you heard? Did you act upon your desire, and how were you received?  Did you fulfil your desire, or was permission denied? Let all the players enter the scene. Let yourself feel everything you felt in that moment. What was it like to have your wishes come true, or to have them taken from you?  Who played a part in this, and what was their energy or presence like? Were you excited and joyful, or disappointed and afraid? 

If your desire was fulfilled, what happened next?  If your desire was denied, what did you do? Let yourself feel it all. 

Now please repeat this exercise at least three times, for three different experiences of desire. Each time begin by letting yourself remember what it felt like to have pure desire in your body and your psyche. Each time follow through with your emotional body, and how it felt to achieve or lose the fulfilment of your desires. 

Now notice any patterns which have arisen. Were you a child or youth who could easily identify and express what you want? What were the most powerful kinds of desires you can remember? Did you allow easily or was each time an effort to dig through shame and shyness?  What is the patterning of how your desire was received by others?  Were you heard and welcomed or did you repeatedly experience being shut down, by others or by your own fear? 

Notice who was present in the theatre of these memories. If it was a parent, sibling or friend, can you recall the way that this individual would commonly express and respond to their own desires? How did their responses impact you? What did they teach you about yourself? Were you strong enough to hold your own, or were you submissive to the wishes of others? 

Jane Eyre (1943)

Where is shame present in these memories? Did you stop yourself, or were you stopped and shamed by others? Were you pure of heart and believing in your right to desire until someone judged or harmed you? Can you let yourself be aware of how you experienced your own power of choice or your own passivity?

For each experience, what was the measure of your success in fulfilling your desire? Please give each experience a rating between 1 and 10, 10 being the complete fulfilment and/or acknowledgement of your desire, and 1 being complete shut down of your needs and wishes.

What was the climate around you during these experiences?  What were the customs, the habits of your family, your culture, your community?  Were you ever publicly shamed? Did parents, elders or authority figures ever use shame as a way to control your behaviour?  

Kalho pictured in 1932, photographed by her father Guillermo..

Did you have any role models of individuals who recognized their own preferences and made choices rooted in their own desires?  Who were these role models, and how did they live their lives?  If there was no one, and you grew up surrounded by control and suppression, is that feeling of entrapment and denial still familiar to you? Are you still living with a need for approval, for a permission that lives outside of yourself? What would have happened to you as a child if you had dared to take permission, to follow your desires anyway?  What would happen to you as an adult, if you were to follow your desires this very day? 

Now, for each experience you have noted, allow yourself to re-enter the memory of the original moment. If your permission score was only 3, visualize pushing up the needle of that score. What would it feel like inside your heart, if it became a 5. And then 7. What would it feel like to push the needle to 10? Give yourself full permission to rewrite the entire scene. To rectify, and fulfil whatever had been missing. If a parent began with no, they now say yes. If you were shamed and judged, you are now heard and loved. If you stopped yourself, you now say yes to yourself. What does it feel like to play with this permission? Can you do it? Can you confront any fear and shame which arises and say yes anyway? Can you allow yourself to want something, and let it come true? 

Notice any resistance. Watch it, but don’t respond to its claim on you. Let it be witnessed in a dispassionate way. Love yourself in it. Love the resistance itself. Remind yourself that this is the catalyst to your permission. Without resistance, there would be no permission. The hand must pull back the bow so that the arrow, in its time, can fly free. 

In closing, for each memory of desire, anchor a healing, positive outcome. Give yourself an image, a word, by which to anchor what it feels like to say yes, where once you were told no. You have full permission to rewrite these memories, to create a new ending to each story. Play with this sensation and give to yourself now what may have been missing for a long time. 

The truth is, you are all grown up. Your permissions are now utterly your own. There is no one, and nothing in your way.  You are more free than you have ever been in your life. Every challenging memory has come only to serve you, to take you to this new place. If it is not easy to rewrite a memory, take your time. Stay honest within yourself. Keep feeling for choices, for possibilities. You deserve the time to practice being larger in life, being free for the first time. You are developing new muscles. Tell yourself the truth, but don’t give up. The visions you allow fuel the reality you create. 

If necessary, repeat and repeat the anchoring words and images. Take back what was meant to be yours. Discover how strong you are meant to be. Notice how freely your love begins to flow to others, when you allow it to first flow freely to you. It’s the beginning of a new day. 

I would love to hear how you experience this exercise. Please share in the comments.

Much love,


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