This week a client told me she was doing a Marie Kondo on her closet.
She was getting rid of what no longer gave her joy.
We went on to talk about her sex life with her partner and the nagging resistance she has to being touched.
Somewhere along the way, she formed a belief system about touch. She couldn’t identify a particular incident that informed that belief system. There was no trauma or abuse. She just knew that when she was touched (even by her loving partner), her body would recoil and she’d shut down.
This didn’t stop her from having a sex life, but it did prevent her from looking forward to sex and enjoying it. After a few coaching sessions, she was ready to see her touch aversion for what it is: a belief system that no longer served her.
I suggested she view her beliefs much like the old sweaters she was throwing out and do a Maria Kondo on her sexual beliefs. She could hold them up and ask the question, “Do these belief systems give me joy?”
This isn’t as easy as throwing out an old sweater, but it poses the same simple question—what do I believe and are those beliefs serving my happiness?
It was pretty clear to her that she (and her body) believed that receiving touch was not joyful. She was finally ready to pack them up and let them go, and do the work of replacing them with beliefs that serve her today. I reminded her of Marie Kondo’s important step before letting something go—to first thank it for its place in your life and the purpose it served at one time.
We’re usually pretty young when we form beliefs about sex. Our early life experiences often imprint themselves strongly in our brains. Everything is new, we’re inexperienced and easily influenced in our attitudes.
We form judgments and develop fears that can stay with us for a lifetime unless we hold them up to the light of scrutiny and ask ourselves Marie’s question: “Does this belief system give me joy?”
When it’s time to let limiting sexual beliefs go and replace them with new sex-positive beliefs that expand our ability to love and be loved, we can thank what no longer serves us.
Even our most troubling and constricting beliefs today may have protected us from hurt in the past. Our judgments and fears may have kept us safe at one point in time.
If old sexual beliefs no longer reflect who we are today, if they’re protecting us from something that is no longer a threat, then we have the choice to replace old beliefs with new ones.
So rather than shoving your antiquated beliefs in a box of shame and regret, you can hold them up to the light and give them one last look over.
You can acknowledge that even though they had their time and place, you’re ready to replace them with something new and fresh.
What are your antiquated sexual beliefs? Is it time to open the closet door and let your inner Marie Kondo out?
Stay well and love deeply.