It can be difficult to find the balance between healthy sexuality and flourishing spirituality. You may feel as if being healthy sexually leaves you feeling as if you are slacking spiritually. But why can’t you have both? It’s possible, even important, to find a way to be connected to your higher power and still be connected to your body. It’s uncomfortable to feel as if you must choose between having a healthy sexuality and being comfortable with your body and physical affection but then feeling as if you are letting your higher power “down,” or being connected to your higher power but then feeling shame or guilt around sexuality and sexual experiences. Can’t there be a way to have both?
This is a journey each individual has to take for themselves. Everyone will have different thoughts and feelings on this topic. The goal is not to choose one or the other, but to instead have a balance that works for your life. Each person has different values and morals and their interpretations of what they want for their life, their mind and their body. There doesn’t need to be any judgement on yourself or others while you experience this journey. I would encourage people to start self reflecting based on their wants and needs physically, spiritually, and emotionally.
If you are one who has always been connected to your higher power but yet feels shame and guilt around your sexuality or your body then maybe it is time to process those feelings. Take the time to understand where these feeling stem from and how to move forward to a place where you can have a healthy sex life with yourself and with your partner. It may be a slow process but it is something that can be done.
If you are a sex positive person but feel that makes you unable to connect with a higher power despite feeling a spiritual void in your life, that can be cause for reflection. Sex positivity is not necessarily in opposition to a robust spiritual life, but rather both can, and do, coexist and even complement each other. You can start to understand what has driven those thoughts and how to start the process to change. Again you want to find the balance.
By finding the balance the hope is you do not have to select one or the other. You do not need to stop vibrant, playful, passionate, fun sexual activity in order to connect with a higher power. You also do not need to disconnect from a higher power in order to start having a positive sexual relationship with yourself or a partner.
By finding your own balance the hope is that you can maintain happiness and health not only with your sexuality but also with your spirituality. You can feel connected to your higher power and also yourself. Your wants and needs can be validated and fulfilled without guilt and shame.
–Emily Barlow, LMFT
Emily Barlow is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in North Carolina and a former therapist at Carolina Sexual Wellness Center. To schedule an appointment with any of the therapists at CSWC, call 919-297-8322.