One day in November last year, I was driving around and listening to The Moth radio hour. A man was telling a story of parenting his two teenage boys on matters of sexuality. The subject came up because the boys’ mom had caught each one on two different occasions surreptitiously searching the Internet for pictures of “boobies”. She called on Dad to play bad cop.
When it happened the first time with one son, he did as she asked, imposing some punishment to fulfill his responsibility for discipline. But it didn’t sit right with him, and he felt he could improve upon his results. So when it happened a second time, now with the other son, he took a different tack. He explained to this son on the car-ride home that his curiosity was natural, and that he wasn’t in trouble.
Then the father tried to draw his son out a bit to talk about what he was feeling around his curiosity about bodies and sexuality. This way, the father felt he could provide a wiser and more sensitive influence on what was going on. He knew he had an important opportunity to shape how his son would venture into this area. After some explorative discussion, he made his play for influence, warning his son that “There were things on the Internet that you won’t want to see… Images that will haunt you at just the wrong moment.”
And then, searching for just the right words to communicate to his son something more global of deep importance on this issue, this dad said something that I completely did not expect to hear. He said…
“You see, bud, the Internet hates women.”
This statement was a bit shocking to me. It’s a thought I had never considered, and I didn’t really know what to make of it. And yet when I heard it, I spontaneously started weeping. Something about it hit a nerve deep inside.
He went on to explain to his Moth audience, “You might think that’s a broad brush stroke… But if you look at everything on the Internet as though these things were thoughts in a mind… And if that mind was a dude… This guy has a problem with women!”
I pulled over and replayed his comment in my mind to draw what I was feeling closer to the surface. I pulled out paper and started journaling to help unpack it into clarity.
All my life, I had abstained from gender wars. I refused to sympathize with other people’s comments about “men” that always professed women’s victimization of some kind. I ignored feminist complaints of all kinds, even including issues around equal pay. I subscribed to “you create your own reality,” and I wanted no part of the gender victimization reality. I found balance and expansiveness in viewing self as an androgynous spirit having a physical experience. I rejected the notion that I was a victim of society’s influence in any regard. Mastery over my own mind was my primary passion from a very young age.
When I entered the age of interest in love relationships with the opposite sex, I actually had a really hard time with physical intimacy. I enjoyed a special someone’s company and wanted to be physically close with him. But when it came to sex, a switch would flip in my mind and suddenly I could no longer see love as the motivating force behind our actions… not his or mine. Sex looked to me like a strange and loveless act of getting each other off… completely physical and dissociated from the energy of love somehow. And when it was over, love would resume flowing in my perception again. Somehow, sex just couldn’t make loving sense to me.
It was very frustrating because I really wanted a completely wholesome experience of relationship, including physical intimacy. It seemed like no matter what I did, I couldn’t reconcile this split in my mind. I muddled my way through, trying to fit into acting out my ideal of relationship, including the sexuality part. I made in-roads, so to speak, of things I could do comfortably and believe they were part of love. However, these really just amounted to a comfortable crust of ritual with which I buried the split in my mind, because I couldn’t find how to actually heal it. But the way this man’s comment touched me, the key issue inside this split actually came unraveled.
My first exposure to sex education came from girlfriends who modeled Penthouse and Playboy magazine material as they were discovering the ins and outs of puberty for themselves. And even though I was Ms. Society-Can’t-Program-Me, I grew up with TV and cinema depictions of sexual dynamics and gender self-expression. Sexual objectification was, and still is, everywhere.
Learning about love relationships in this cultural climate, I blended love with sexual objectification to the tune of my personal pain profile growing up. My early life taught me that “I am overlooked by love.” And the culture within which I wanted to experience love with a man, told me that to attract and keep love, I need to objectify myself. Now, if my self-worth was healed at that time, I would never have bought that. But whose is at a young age? So I wandered a murky territory of trying to pursue my emotional need to earn love’s attention by trying to figure out what was expected of me sexually, and discovering how that can feel warm and sweet, or a little dark and powerful, or gross and violating, or truly personally dangerous. The full gamut of how people want to behave with sexual energy and objectification in this world, goes to some very dark and disturbing places.
This blending of love and objectification was a strange issue for me because I ended up feeling turned on and turned off at the same time, and I was confused by it. I had no idea how much garbage I had actually absorbed from my cultural environment, and how instinctually disturbed I was by it. And because I didn’t recognize any of this, I turned this misunderstood distortion in my mind against myself, believing that I was somehow defective in the area of intimacy. I believed that things would work out if only I could fit in… So I essentially broke myself by trying to fit into the dark brokenness of the world.
Now I was hearing a man call out the lovelessness in the sexual objectification of women throughout our culture. It touched that confused place deep inside me. And it was not just his words. It was also his energy. He was a genuinely natural, loving guy, just doing his best, with integrity, and calling it like it is. His energy calling bullshit on sexual objectification, stirred an unravelling that let the dark and confused things within me come to the surface and the light to become unconfused. His acknowledgment catalyzed a process of insight that, over about an hour and a half of crying and writing, allowed me to distinguish what I had previously blended. The inner clarity that emerged, healed the split in my mind. I felt this deep relaxation and peace through my entire being. I saw in my mind’s eye a healthy love relationship that was warm, playful, wholesome, and grounded in real values… I saw myself in this relationship without any need to perform for love or objectify myself. And I knew this to be my new reality.
In this experience, the author was gifted with an opportunity to undergo an internal witnessing process that is requisite for releasing any subconscious holding pattern. Waking up in spirit… ascending to the coherent signature of light and love that is God’s design for the human being, necessitates dissolving all thought patterns that filter and choke out this light and love. This is easier said than done, because most of the thought patterns that hold us back, are subconscious. Which is to say: we are identified with them. Identification with a thought pattern means that we accept it as real in a way that we cease to be able to truly fully observe it. It becomes part of the assumed constants. Which means that our subconscious holding patterns are hidden all around us,... Login as member to read the whole explication