“Dear God please help heal them so that I will feel better.”
“Dear God please get them to change so that I can feel better.”
“Dear God please send your angels down to comfort them so that I can get on with my life, they are bugging me.”
If you think you are above this but you:
Then GUESS WHAT…
No matter how that person is choosing to show up, we see our REFLECTION.
Stop Existing & Start Living
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So, can sex be a true addiction? I can’t tell you how often people not only ask me this question but also how often I’ll hear people throw the words “Sex Addict” around.
Lately I have seen several articles and been involved in a few conversations with colleagues about Sex Addiction. In my experience people tend to have strong feelings around this topic.
Some people say that sex addiction is just another way to pathologize people and label them. Others say that sex is like a drug and can be used/abused, can be dangerous, and something to be approached with care. I believe both can be and are true.
I personally have worked in the past with people that have been labeled as sex addicts. Some of these individuals I believe were indeed mislabeled and yet others had created severe damage in their lives in the pursuit of sex. I’ve listened to stories from my past clients about going broke, ruining relationships, ending up in jail, and ruining their health in order to find sex.
So to me, the question is not if Sex Addiction (or abuse of sex) is real because I have seen the damage in my clients’ lives. I think the question is what is and what is not sex addiction!
What is Sex Addiction?
Technically there is no such thing as sex addiction in terms of medical terminology. An addiction of any form is simply a laymen’s term for what the medical and psychological community call abuse/dependence. The closest medical term that has been offered for what society considers Sex Addiction is “Hypersexual Disorder” which was not approved for usage in the latest addition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manuel (DSM 5), which is where all diagnoses of psychological disorders come from. Some also consider withholding sex a form of sex addition (“Sexual Anorexia”), which would fall under the category of Hypo-sexual disorder. Also, medical professionals have been unable to even determine what sex addiction is because it is often used to define any behavior that deviates from societal norms. This includes “excessive” sexual intercourse, masturbation, viewing of pornography, partners, etc.
The National Council on Sexual Addiction and Compulsivity has defined sexual addiction as “engaging in persistent and escalating patterns of sexual behavior acted out despite increasing negative consequences to self and others.” Since there is no agreed upon definition of what a sex addiction is, I would like to offer what I use with my clients to determine when someone has entered an unhealthy territory in the way of sexual behaviors.
• Are you able to function in your daily life? (Going to work, taking care of adult responsibilities, taking care of physical health, etc.)
• Are you continuing to engage in behaviors despite intense dangers to your physical health, career, or financial well-being?
• Are you unable to stop the behaviors despite them no longer bringing you pleasure?
If someone says, “Yes,” to the above situation, then they very well might be stuck in an addictive cycle with sex, porn, or masturbation. Thankfully there are many wonderful therapists/coaches that work with sex addiction and can help determine what emotional needs are trying to be met through these behaviors.
What Sex Addiction is NOT!
Often Sex Addiction is used as a scapegoat for Cheating, Lying, Jealousy, and Taboo behaviors. As long as the below behaviors are not stopping normal adult functioning, a sex addiction is not:
• Cheating: Just because a partner is enjoying sex with another person(s) does not mean they are addicted. It means that there is a breakdown somewhere in the communication and the relationship. Often women particularly will struggle emotionally with the thought of a partner cheating and so will label that other person a sex addict. I believe people often see it as a more acceptable/ less embarrassing than having to admit their partner cheated OR the person engaging in the infidelity finds it easier than having to manage the repercussions of infidelity. Cheating can cause emotional turmoil on both sides but that does not make it a sex addiction
• Polyamory/Open Relationships: Just because a person chooses a different lifestyle does not make them have an addiction. Often people are under the impression that people in these types of relationships are “sex crazed” and are constantly engaging in dangerous sexual experiences. Research studies have actually shown the exact opposite, that people in these relationships communicate and take more precautions for safety in sex than single/monogamous couples. However, instead of learning about these lifestyles, it is easier to smack a label on a person or think they are just choosing that lifestyle for the sex.
• Pornography: I do not personally like pornography because I think it can push unhealthy standards but a person does not have an addiction just because they enjoy viewing pornography. Viewing porn can be a healthy part of adult sexual experiences. Many couples pursue pornography to add spice into a relationship and many single people use it to meet their basic human needs in a safe and healthy manner.
• Enjoying Sex/Sex-ploration: Many times I will hear people throw the word sex addict out when they hear about a person engaging in more sex then they deem “appropriate.” Based on religious beliefs, upbringing, and our society, many people have strong ideals on what is and is not okay. The truth is we have no right to tell others when their desires/needs have been met or to limit them according to our personal ideals of sex. A person could have a new sex partner every night for a year and still not be a sex addict!
• Masturbation: Again, masturbation is a super healthy aspect of human sexuality and does not mean a person is a sex addict. Our bodies are meant to be enjoyed and so we don’t get to tell others how often that is okay.
• Taboo Sex: As we expand as a society, more and more people are venturing into new sexual territory. There is a reason why 50 Shades of Grey took the nation by storm! In our ignorance of a sexual preference we often label people as having a “problem.” As adults we have the right to explore whatever we like in the privacy of our own bedroom (outside of illegal preferences such as child abuse or animal abuse). Just because you don’t understand it doesn’t make it an addiction.
Sex Addiction is serious and can very much ruin a person’s life. If a person truly has a sex addiction then they do need help to put their lives back together. In true sexual addiction, the person needs to explore the pain and patterns that are keeping them stuck in a destructive cycle. There are some amazing therapy and treatment centers out there to help these individuals. Though beware because there are some other treatment centers that turn this addiction into a moral issue and will try to shame the addiction out of a person or suggest taking on habits such as celibacy. These treatments are not effective and will often just drive the addict deeper into the addiction long-term.
Sex Addiction is not a scapegoat phrase or something to be thrown around in order to express your dislike of a person’s sexual behaviors. It’s not an excuse for infidelity and not a rationale for someone having a high sexual appetite.
Original Article by Addison Bell, Tantric Practitioner & Coach
Why do you need stories? Stories give shape to experience and allow you to go through life with clarity. Without stories, life events and experiences would float around in some nebulous cloud and none of it would mean anything. When you have a particular viewpoint of what happened, the wonderful aspects of being human can come into play. You can laugh, feel inspired, be compassionate, become outraged, and become motivated to change things. They help you connect and feel less alone. They are your guidepost, your prayers, your history and the vehicle to discovering and expressing your soul. There are stories that celebrate and others that offer you a challenge.
Stories reflect your perception of events, experiences and the world. They influence your interactions with others, the quality of your relationships, your sense of emotional well-being, and even your physical health. They shape your expectations, who you believe you can become, or can achieve in life. Your story affects how easily you steer through change, and it can keep you stuck in cycles of stress, worry, and fear. It is your interpretation of what you believe to be true. This rendition is based on your beliefs and weave together to create a story about who you are and how the world works.
If these perceptions and interpretations are reinforced by your environment, the more real they appear and the truer the story seems. The story becomes so engrained that you believe it is the only one that could exist. Your perspective then becomes your truth. The question is, does it support you?
Why do you stay in the stories you create? Story helps you understand the world and assimilate your experience of it, providing you with a view point. Sometimes that becomes contorted. Your unconscious beliefs are like an invisible story line that you carry around all the time. For example, if you adopted the belief that you are not significant, you carry the “I’m insignificant” story. Everywhere you go you are projecting, “This is the story of who I am and how the world works for me. You are requesting others to assume the illusion is true, and help sustain it.” There are plenty of people who are willing to cooperate with you.
How do you change the story? Einstein said that you can’t solve a problem at the same level of consciousness that created it. To change the story you need to look at reality in an entirely new way. Transformation comes when you change the question from “what is this person doing to create this feeling I am experiencing?” This inquiry does not claim ownership of your perception which might be flawed. A more self-aware question might be, “If this reaction is occurring, what story line am I carrying?” Doing this you become aware of the story line, and it gives you the opportunity to change it. You can choose to let go of a limiting belief and respond differently. When you look at your “reality” in a new way. You get less stuck in reacting, and you learn how to clear the beliefs that make up the story. Your awareness grows and you learn to participate in the story you are creating. As a result, the story no longer rules you and your experience of reality changes. I encourage those wanting to explore this further to read Byron Katie’s book Loving What Is.
Lynn Zambrano R.N. is an energy intuitive, healer and life coach. Her sessions are filled with compassion and designed to reveal your personalized, heart-centered guidance. Connect with her on Twitter and Facebook, or email Lynn at Lightminded1@yahoo.com. You can also visit her website at www.Light-Minded.com Lynn is co-host with TrustClaire on her BTR show on Mondays at 5:30 EST, and is also highlighted on Top American Healers .
“The moment of relief is when you drop the oars and let the stream turn you. Surrender and ask for what you need.” –Abraham Hick
The question that we all use often and that truly has a different meaning then the words used. Are you okay is a question asked of someone when someone else is feeling a societal need, a duty, a face to uphold. It is asked of someone when another party feels as if they should inquire but is not really committed to knowing the truth of the other. It is often asked in closer relationships when one party is feeling that there is something not okay but is not at peace with really hearing the answer. Because of our psychological programming, our fear of loss, our unstable emotional blockages we naturally answer this question when posed it, “Yes, yes I am okay. – Yes, I am fine. – Yes, all is good.” These responses are not accurate in most cases. These responses come with mixed feelings. “Yes, I am okay.” Actually says, “No, I am not okay but I am scared to share where I really am with you. I don’t trust you will handle where I am so I am going to give you the answer that you want and that will allow you to stop further inquiry and not feel guilty about it.” This answer at the same time is saying,” I know you feel something and I want you to dig deeper. I want to express fully but don’t know how or am unsure if I can trust you to hold space for me and where I am. I hope you can feel me calling through and asking you to go deeper with me. I want to be loved unconditionally and heard/seen.”
Our need to be heard, seen, truly felt and space held for us is a vital aspect of our human experience and healing, however because we all come with our own baggage we are fearful of opening ourselves at these levels and in turn give and accept these bullshit inquiries and responses.
This is one of the main questions posed in society, in all of our relationships. Through this question we actually convince ourselves that we care, that we want to know, that we have done our part in helping the one being asked, but stop and analyze this within yourself deeper. The last time you were asked this question, how did you respond? Did you feel heard? Felt? Seen? Did you feel any true connection or concern coming from the asking party or did you feel as though you and the other side had fulfilled a obligation of some sort in the brief inquiry? The last time you asked this question of someone did you get the response you had hoped for and was good with it so left it at that surface inquiry or did you hear a lack of integrity from the person asked? Did you hear their programmed answer and take it to a deeper level where you opened the door to real authentic love and empathy? If you did this did you hold space for the other person or did you open that door with a need to prove that you could “fix” them or show them the right path. What was YOUR underlying agenda in the inquiry no matter how deep you chose to take it?
Communication; Heart-felt and accepted communication is what we are all craving and yet we are scared shitless of embracing. We become involved in many relationships in our life times and even in the most committed, loving and connected ones we prevent this from happening. We fall prey to our programming and to our egos. Perhaps it is because we know that opening this doorway is like opening Pandora’s Box. Once opened we in truth are forever changed and we run the risk of looking silly, weak, psychologically messed up, selfish, insecure, possibly even suicidal if we really got down to the nitty gritty in some cases. We run into the possibility of sharing more of ourselves then we ever have trusted share before and this may cause our friend, lover, family member to shut down because they are not equipped with the skills and the maturity to hear our truth. Perhaps it is because we are all walking around with some amount of shame and distrust. We have been told from a young age to suck it up, that sharing these shadow lands of our internal selves is not healthy and it is actually selfish. We are told over and over again that emotion is meaningless, it is something that we need to learn to control and not embrace. We are told to hold it in, suppress it and move forward. Our society is programmed to believe that any emotional state of being that “Is NOT Okay,” is ill, wrong and should be suppressed in any way possible. Even medicated. But does this mean that it is right?
When we block one emotional state and stop living in heart integrity we naturally start blocking others. In what can be a very short period of time we find ourselves completely masking life, our hearts, our souls and all that we have to offer. Our love even becomes muted and you can feel or see the radiant light that was once present draining away from our living corpse. Our relationships, no matter how intimate become distant and we find ourselves alone, prisoners in this thing called life that we have no understanding of really.
Over and over again, I have heard from couple’s, especially men:
“She use to smile so much. Her smile could light up a room, if only she would do that now.”
“ When __________ is turned on she is the most extraordinary woman I have ever seen, I wish I knew how to get her into that state more.”
“She use to be so happy.”
“ I miss us talking about everything. I use to think that together we could do anything in this world, but that was then. Reality has set in and life is hard. We were young and dumb.”
“ People change. I don’t make her happy anymore.”
“I wish she could share with me more.”
“I don’t think she loves me anymore.”
“ I wish we could just talk without her getting so over emotional.”
“Women are too emotional. Your hormones mess everything up, we men cannot take what you say, do or are acting like for reality. I wish women could just be more stable minded.”
On the reverse I hear:
“ He use to make me smile in how he handled everything and supported me.”
“I wish he would just open up and share what is bugging him so much instead of ignoring me.”
“ I know he knows that we have not been right for some time now, but he won’t hear me out.”
“ I feel so alone.”
“Its just my hormones that are acting up. (It’s my period, I just got over my period, I am going through the change of life, I have the baby blues, etc)”
“It’s this new medication I am on.”
“I wish we could talk and he would just let me cry if I needed.”
These are all common statements made and felt. How sad it is that on both sides of the coin we feel a responsibility, a shame, a deep longing even to have more, embrace more but allow our egos to prevent the beauty of this soul communication by making us believe that if we express these “meaningless” emotions that we will sacrifice our relationship, ourselves and our image. If we open Pandora’s Box we are weak and immature, we are not cut out for this thing called life because the successful are strong and emotionless.
By opening this box though we do run the risk of seeing other souls at a deeper level and connecting with them in the space that they are at, we possibly may fall more in love with them, ourselves and with life by allowing both their humanness and our own to be revealed. We also run the risk of walking in a land that we have not traveled before ever or very much and see aspects of ourselves mirrored back at us that we are not fully ready to accept and heal. We may be asked to hold space or to support this other soul in a way that we are uncomfortable with. There may be nothing in return for us by opening at this level except a pain in our heart center that we cannot explain but feel great alignment with and wish we had someone that could hold this space for us.
Our interconnectedness as humans is amazing, but the interconnected, soul lessons that we are blessed with at a greater depth with those that we are physically connected to (our children, lovers, parents, siblings and close friends) are all the more intense. Our egos would have us believe that we should ignore and close ourselves off to even these people but is this the right and healthy thing to do or just the easy way out?
The next time you ask someone, “Are you okay?” Stop and ask if you are really ready to hold space for this person and whatever their truth is? Ask yourself if you are ready to inquire deeper when they give you the socially acceptable and expected answer of, ‘yes, I am okay.”? If you are not ready to do these two things, then DON’T ask. Smile at them, take a deep breath and walk away or ask a different surface question that will allow for idle communication without soul depth. If you choose to ask this question, be willing to embrace the other soul without judgment the best you can. Go as deep as you can with them in the moment. Know that most of us have never been allowed to express or experience deep communication and sharing and even though we crave it like the air we breathe, we will attempt over and over again to shut down the valves so that we won’t get hurt. Fear will be standing guard and the one who is being inquired of will look for ANY reason, any disconnect, any distance or fear within the inquirer to support the shut down. Past programs will be running at high speed in these intimate times and if a trigger is engaged you may have to recalculate, breathe and even allow for space to form to a degree before going deeper.
True authentic communication and acceptance is NOT easy or without risk. It takes a deep love and courage on both sides to reveal and be revealed into so much nakedness of self.
Do you have what it takes to love or be loved at this level?