“People will ask you the question ‘how is life treating you?’
But my question is ‘how are you treating life?”
~ Rasheed Ogunlaru
We can’t learn this enough: The way we treat ourselves mirrors the way we treat others. But how do we hold this truth in our heart and mind as a daily practice? There’s an inherent dilemma in envisioning a better relationship while simultaneously accepting our lover in the present. At what point does setting our sights on sexual growth impede current intimacy through expectations, instead of enhancing it through awareness? Dissatisfaction with the status quo can be a healthy impetus for self-improvement, but chronic discontent can block real change.
Understand that the recovery of sexual and emotional health is as challenging as you can imagine. If it was always impossible for you to let go and cede control, or, conversely, to express your truth and stand up to someone who broke boundaries, you now have to learn and practice untested skills. So it’s essential to treat ourselves with all the love and understanding we longed for, because working through our issues instead of dancing around them is tough.
And when the going gets tough, the tough get treatment. Therapeutic treatment offers a place to set aside the way we habitually interact. Through empathic attunement, a therapist tracks his or her own bodily based feelings as a road map to the inner world of the client, just as a mother attunes to her child in order to make the child’s implicit feelings explicitly understood. Similarly, the 12-step programs’ slogan, “You have to give it away to keep it,” describes the sponsor relationship whereby members strengthen their own recovery by helping others recover. Whenever we treat others with empathy, holding their hearts in ours, we attune to their struggles and hopes. And through this process, healing arrives in our own hearts.
Daily Healthy Sex Acts:
- Do you treat others as you want to be treated? If not, why not? Today, pretend that you are the soul inside everyone you meet, and show everyone appreciation. You’ll find you‘re showing appreciation to yourself as well. Treat life like a mirror, and see how your inner experience reflects your treatment of others.
- Act as if. If you haven’t got it in your heart to be your best self around others, act as if you do–in other words, “fake it until you make it.” Treat yourself to your best self, by connecting to the world through your heart in empathic attunement.