We all experience shattering emotions at times, particularly in intimate relationships. What do we do? Do we avoid deep connections in order to avoid pain? Do we blame others when the pain arises? Or do we learn and grow through pain? And while it's virtually impossible to do any of the above in isolation, we can choose our prevalent strategy. In this article I show how the embodiment work and connection to one's sexuality helps to stay afloat in the worst of times and get over them quicker and with more energy for life to come.
The emotional pain is no different to a physical one: when we are rejected or abandoned, lose belonging. This in the animal world equates to the threat of survival. And our pain centers in the brain light up just as strongly as if we were physically cut.
Motivation and instruments
Recently, an event with a beloved deeply shook me. My body froze, emotional pain tore me apart. I was in deep shock, feeling rejected, unloved, deeply flawed. I wanted to run away, disappear into the abyss, and never return. Fortunately, a few hours later, my new professional training was starting. Although I had already done this part, I decided to go because I was incapable of doing anything else and didn't want to just lie in bed staring into the void. I told myself: here's a perfect test of the value of my work, let's see if connecting with our body and mind through the tools I teach can really pull someone out of deep sh*t.
The first topic was belonging. My sense of belonging was shattered a couple of hours ago, so it was very hard to listen. But all the embodied practices worked like a balm. When we were led to feel the ground beneath us, thawing happened, tears flowed, and the body softened in sorrow. Sometimes tears are already a progress. When I was stating what comprises me, I gave space to that part of "I am" that felt miserable that evening. I knew I was much more than this, but the pain needed a stage, so I didn't push it away.
Then I went for a walk along the Thames, breathing deeply, making longer and longer exhales. Soon the pain decreased manyfold, and I was able to sleep. What used to take weeks or even months to get over took less than a day. My self-love level is tens, if not hundreds of times higher than 7 years ago, and the base of it is connecting my body and my mind. And the awaken sexuality make all of these processes clear, lively and more potent.
Sensing your body while breathing, sounding, moving works astonishingly well. I never cease to be amazed by it. These techniques do marvels also for people with less practice than me. Last week, using the same tools, with my client had his first full body orgasms in the 1st session with hardly any genital stimulation. In his own words: "What was that sorcery? You're a magician! An absolutely amazing experience I will never forget!"
What I learned from my difficult experience: in the most vulnerable experiences, when, for example, I'm afraid of losing someone dear, I feel that I need to earn love, that I'm not worthy of it just because I am. I don't feel that I am love.
Can it change?
I chose the following two actions:
When I feel broken, rejected, unworthy, when emotional pain tears me apart, I remember that it's the biochemistry of my brain, that it's from my past, that it has very little to do with who I am right now. That it's a small remnant of pain from not receiving enough care as a child. And that through my practices, my brain's biochemistry changes. It's empirically proven by the veterans association in the US that even the biochemistry of the brains of Vietnam war veterans with PTSD changes, meaning traces of much more serious traumas are healed (see "The body keeps the score" by Vessel Van der Kolk). And that challenging events become less destructive and their effect passes faster and faster each time. That I need to give myself care, loving attention right in the moment: take a bath with essential oils, do yoga, breathe slowly and deeply, sound, get a massage. And this too shall pass.
I resolve not to address emotional issues through messengers, even voice or video. Video calls can be an option in exceptional situations (for example, if it's not possible to meet in person within a week). The thing is, a large part of our emotional system is inherited from reptiles and mammals. As you can understand, they don't really grasp the idea of mobile communication. Similarly, our emotional bodies don't understand it well: it's much easier for us to feel alienation and negativity when, in a tense situation, the person is not in the same space with us.
Navigating emotional pain, especially in intimate relationships, requires courage and a deep engagement with oneself. This article highlights the transformative power of embodiment work and connecting with one's sexuality as essential tools for thriving through emotional upheavals. By embracing our body's wisdom and the healing potential of our minds, we can transform pain into strength and wisdom. The journey underscores the efficacy of embodiment practices in overcoming distress and the importance of authentic emotional communication. As we learn from our experiences, we realize that healing is within our grasp, enabling us to emerge transformed and enriched by our trials.
Keywords: emotional intelligence, embodiment, conscious sexuality, sexual healing.