Sexuality, Spirtuality: Integral to Who We Are

Sexuality, Spirtuality: Integral to Who We Are

“Sexuality—erotic energy—is a powerful sacred fire.”

Mid-life, aging, stressed, alone or surrounded by family—no matter where we are in life, sexuality is still integral to who we are.  Research continues to reveal that in many aspects of our lives, how we function as sexual beings directly correlates to a happier, fuller life.  Right along with that comes our spiritual life.

In the article, Sacred Fire, author Toni Weingarten reflects on standard religious teachings many of us experienced growing up.  Sex basically meant don’t.  In addition, our parents’ generation often was unable to teach us about sex, making us think of it as forbidden or dirty.

Sandra Lommasson, a spiritual director at Mercy Center in Burlingame, California, provides a fresher view: “Sexuality is the drive for love, unity, family.  Sexuality calls us to new forms of partnership and creativity, to bring life into the world.  Our soul isn’t something we have—we are our souls.  The soul is life, the principle of energy.  And the only sin is to dry up.”

Sr. Lorita Moffatt expands on the thought, referring to sexuality as the “juice of life, a desire for union, communion, and it’s in plants, animals and all of creation.”  Approaching children with that concept of sexuality would be positive and life affirming.

Lommasson says: “…sexuality—erotic energy—is a powerful sacred fire.”

Both women are skilled in spiritual direction, a process where a mentor/counselor meets with a person who desires to blend daily living with a spiritual life, develop an inner life or clarify the path he or she is on.  Both make the basic point that the spiritual part of us does not say don’t —though Lommasson stresses that: “We need to respect the sacredness of the fire.”

This respect lives in the relationship of two people who value the intimacy they have with one another.  In families it is healthy for children to learn over time that their parents have a special relationship that occurs behind closed doors.  It is that sexual relationship that brings children into the world and at its best sustains them in a family that is productive and happy.

Christine Gudorf writes in her article, Why Sex Is So Good for Your Marriage, that the “sexual desire created by marital sex is a source of tremendous energy in marriage—loving energy that overflows on others.”  She relates that in her own marriage her children became aware of the sexual attraction she and her husband had for each other.  They even learned that if one of their parents was tense or irritable, or an argument was ensuing, they could restore the comfortable home atmosphere by suggesting that their parents take a “little nap,” the euphemism developed for a retreat to their bedroom.  When Gudorf was growing up, her own parents provided such a model.  They touched each other with affection, enjoyed each other’s company and when they emerged from their bedroom, both smiling, their love for each other flowed out to their children and the rest of the evening was often warm and fun-filled.  As my mother used to tell me, sex is the glue in a marriage.

The next generations would make stronger marriages if as children they experienced an honest openness about the sexual part of marriage—if sexuality was seen in its spiritual context and didn’t just shout out don’t.  Being ignorant of the close bonds that sexuality and spirituality have promotes confusion, leads to an inability to communicate.  Wives and husbands, boyfriends and girlfriends should be able to see their sexual lives as integral to human life—as a good thing—a sacred fire that we respect.

Gudorf writes: “For all these reasons, increased attention should be given in both the church and society to strengthening the role of sex in marriage by removing the ignorance of sexuality, the lack of communication skills, and the lack of theological appreciation for sexuality and sexual communion, all of which put marriage at risk.”

We can honor ourselves by acknowledging that sexuality and spirituality are integral to who we are.  When we integrate them we respect that sacred fire.

photo by: kevin dooley

6 thoughts on “Sexuality, Spirtuality: Integral to Who We Are

  1. Hi BOOMER HIGHWAY…..sexuality and spirituality are always popular topics, and this article does draw on some great points. The loving part of a relationship can be very grounding for the spirit and soul. When one touches someone’s spirit, one touches their own. What a wonderful way to grow as a person, and to grow closer to another.

    Bill

  2. That’s a beautiful thought and I did not really investigate or stress in the piece: how a person who lives a spiritual life can influence profoundly another person who might not yet be there–in other words, the spirit in each of us can communicate on a level that as you said helps us grow together. One’s sexuality, the sacred fire, starts the communication of two spirits on all levels. Thanks for your comment. Beth

  3. Sometimes our puritanical views on sexuality get in the way of the reality of what a healthy spiritual and sexual life means to us. Lectures on sexulaity in the seminary were always filled with the do’s and don’t; then the spiritual directors (the good ones) would remind us of our humanness. It’s too bad there has been so many conflicting messages about a part of our human nature that is so beautiful and meaningful. Through beautiful written post like this one, reminds us that through dialogue and being open to the Spirit, we can integrate a healthy perspective of sexuality and spiritaulity in our lives that ‘respcts that sacred fire.’

    Chris

    • Thanks Chris, for your supportive comment. The relationship between our spiritual lives and our gender, as well as the sexual nature that is part of that gender is one of profound humanness. Our humanity continues to people this planet because of the gift of sexuality. With respect for the sacred fire it can be meaningful and unite two people to face the joys and sorrows of this life. Thanks again, Beth

  4. Sometimes you’ll meet people and you’ll see the pain-body looking at you through their eyes. These people will be hosting pain parasites that are impatiently waiting for an excuse–any excuse–to provoke a conflict so that they can feed on more pain. They are ready and waiting to begin pushing all your buttons and so the conversation may begin with them probing for information about you so that they can use it to their advantage. Or they’ll simply bring up a topic such as religion or politics so that they can be on the opposite side of the argument. The pain-body instinctively knows that the more controversial the topic, the better chance they have of extracting a painful reaction from you…

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    • Thanks for your comment. I am familiar with the pain body. I agree that we have to be strong in the presence of some people. We have to stick to our beliefs and possibly reach out to help people in pain when we can. Thanks for reading, Beth

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