May 14 2009

May you live in interesting times…

Published by under Sexuality

 

It seems that I was told that these words are a Chinese curse. But have you noticed that these are indeed fascinating times? There are so many areas that have changed in the last 50 years, but one that may not be obvious to everyone is sexuality.

 

In the 1970s, I had the good fortune to be introduced to health education via a practicum in undergraduate school.  Our class was charged with the task of teaching sex education to freshmen in an effort to reduce the number of sexually transmitted diseases on our campus.

 

As a young married woman with a new baby, I had a lot to say and so a passion was born. I felt safe in my family and so was able to teach this touchy (no pun intended) subject without fear of ostracism or misunderstanding in that southern town.

 

One of the changes I have noticed through the years of learning and teaching about sexuality is that we don’t…teach that is. Instead we seem to accept the skewed view of sex we are given by the media.

 

We no longer teach our children about healthy sexuality and we don’t allow others to do so. Kids are interested in this topic naturally and they will accept information from any source available.

 

How do I know this? From grownups!

 

As a sex therapist, I hear so much sadness from folks who were never taught how to sexually love another with respect. This lack of knowledge paired with one of our most basic drives and youth can be a disaster waiting to happen.

 

It seems as that as we relinquish our role as parent, it is being picked up by the legal system.  Our young men learn to see women (or men) as objects for their own pleasure rather than as human beings with feelings and rights.

 

Although this part of the problem may not be new, the consequences are escalating. The impact on a young man (and his family) can be devastating without correcting the underlying problem.

 

Laws and the legal system were not set up to remedy problems, only to stop behaviors and sometimes they are successful. However, imprisoning people does not stop the cycle of sexual abuse.

 

But knowledge and willingness can end many of these problems and make the world safer for all of us, including our children.

 

If you have children…get busy, teach them about love, about themselves as sexual beings, about boundaries and how to protect themselves and others.

 

Learn about healthy sexual development for yourself and them. The more you understand the more likely you are to raise children whose mistakes will not cost anyone their health or freedom.

 

Sexuality is part of our identity, not a choice and the desire to express it is as

natural as hunger is to an infant.

 

Sexual behavior is where we get to choose. If we are unaware of what hurts others we are ill equipped to make loving and safe choices.

 

In the words of a favorite song “teach your children well”.

 

To speak with one of our counselors, visit our website or call 407.323.9961. We are here to help you.

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May 14 2009

Perception is a mirror, not a fact. acim

Published by under Things to Consider

This quote has helped me to understand…myself as well as my family, friends, coworkers and my clients. Understanding is the one of the steps we all need to take to restore sanity to ourselves when we are faced with an insane situation.

 

What is an insane situation? (remember, no facts here, just perception) The answer to this question varies from person to person and from experience to experience.

 

The examples are so numerous that they are competing (in my mind) to be included in this brief writing. So I will start with a “solid “ example, one that may be known to many parents.

 

The sick baby

 

A sick baby, as a young first time mother, was an opportunity for panic and fear, an insane situation in my book of perceptions.

 

What do I do? Call the doctor, wait, and call a friend or the sometimes-frightening call my mother?

 

Today, as a woman of grandmother age, it is an opportunity to listen, to comfort, to wait and watch with confidence and amazement as the baby’s body heals. Thank goodness for the experiences of earlier days and the sanity those experiences bring.

 

In psychotherapy, awareness, self-knowledge, understanding and forgiveness are keys to changing our perception…that in turn changes our experience.

 

Often, we see examples of this in couples or relationship therapy as well as our own lives.

 

The troubled relationship

 

Why won’t he just…. or everything would be fine if she would… We all wish for the answers to these questions and often believe we have the perfect solution for another person.

 

The answer to these questions always goes back to perception. How do you see your world based on your experience? How do they see theirs? And where do these worlds connect?

 

Experience and values grow from our earliest years and they are often the unconscious directors in our lives. Awareness of these components gives us freedom to choose the life we really want.


The answer

 

 

What are your perceptions? Are you treating them like facts?

 

Call 407.323.9961 to schedule an appointment with one of our counselors or visit our website for more information.

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