Often sex and relationship therapy writing is about how to connect and be intimate with others. We live in a society where there are so many distractions that it becomes quite easy to look externally for connection. One unique facet that Conscious Intimacy brings into therapy is the emphasis on connection with the self before connecting with others. Imagine what it could be like if you felt connected and in touch with yourself more often than you sought to connect with others? I have been doing this a lot more lately, and the results have been quite interesting.
Over recent months I have been taking better care of myself; moving more softly through my life and without as much criticism. What has transpired is that I am softer with others and less critical. The voice inside my head that tends to find fault with everything has quietened down and a more nurturing voice is replacing it. What has been even more profound for me is that I notice that the more I feel connected and loving towards myself, the more I feel loving and connected with others. More than that, I feel less fear around being in connection with others. My desire for distraction is waning and the ability to sit in silence without agenda is increasing.
Obviously all of these new changes fluctuate regularly. I have days where I still want to hide from connection or where my compassion may be less available. It is important to acknowledge these aspects too because as a sex therapist, it is vital that I remain aware of both my strengths and my limitations. In order to be a therapist with integrity I have to own the fullness of who I am and my behaviours, no matter how unsavoury. It can at times be tempting to allow others to perceive me through some kind of rose tinted glasses, but if I allow my authenticity to play out, my humanness (aka the truth) will always win.
Experiment with this idea. Think of something for which you always berate yourself. Now get in touch with that inner critic and notice the lack of compassion. Then imagine that you the nurturing parent to yourself; soothe, stroke and calm that critical voice. Let yourself know that it’s going to be okay and that you only do the best you can do at any given moment. Notice how this might change the way you see yourself and the way you talk to yourself.
Allowing myself to accept all facets of my being has changed not only my romantic relationship, but shown a noticeable shift in my relationship with others around me. And this is my commitment to my clients too; to remain in integrity and authenticity. It’s no use being a therapist who is unable to live by the philosophy from which they work and connect with their clients authentically. After all, sex therapy is probably the deepest and most profound therapy one can undertake, considering it is an exploration of your most intimate self.