The world we live in teaches us to feel ashamed about sexuality.
To feel embarrassed at our most natural desires. To supress what we feel is wholesome and natural, to ignore our passions and pretend they don’t exist.
We’re conditioned to disconnect from ourselves, our partners, from the rest of the world.
Because sex and intimacy are supposed to be “dirty”. Shameful. Embarrassing.
I grew up in an environment where sex and intimacy were completely suppressed. After seeing the horrors of the Vietnam war, my parents left the city and raised me in a log cabin in the woods.
And as beautiful as most of it was, being out in nature, part of a passionate church, there was a dark side to it. About as dark as you could ever imagine.
Because when I was still young, I suffered sexual trauma that no person should ever have to experience. And my mother told me the same had happened to at least 10 other girls at the school we all went to.
At this point, my heavenly life turned into a nightmare.
Everything turned upside down.
I went from being a happy, fun-loving girl to a dark, depressed young woman.
I rebelled against everyone and everything.
Where I was a devout christian, I disavowed God when I thought he wasn’t listening.
Where I was a good clean young girl, I descended into a world of drinking, drugs and meaningless sex.
I ran away from home at 17, got pregnant, and my 20s became a blur of drugs, sex, alcohol, anything to numb the pain I was feeling inside.
Because there was no other outlet for me.
There was no way to release my emotions.
There was no channel to communicate how I was feeling so it was all bottled up deep inside me.
Eventually I was diagnosed with mania and bipolar disorder, and put on medication.
That helped, but the medication made everything… flat. I felt nothing.
I was totally and completely numb. I didn’t even have the energy to get out of bed some days.
I remember my son once asking me to read him a bedtime story.
But I was so tired and lethargic, I asked him to come back later, as if he were a salesman.
I felt horrible, but I didn’t know how to do anything more.
Things were about to get worse.
Being constantly broke, we were almost evicted and thrown out on the street. And in that moment of almost becoming homeless, I turned to street drugs once again.
I was still taking Lithium – but the combination of that with drugs like Crystal Meth was deadly.
I found myself in the hospital emergency room, without even enough money to pay for the treatment.
I couldn’t call my parents, I had no friends I could count on, I felt truly alone.
I knew what I had to do.
I knew if I kept repeating this cycle, I’d end up dead – sooner rather than later.
Something had to change.
I remember it as if it was yesterday.
Sitting up on my hospital gurney.
Naked but for a paper-thin gown that was open at the back.
I put my hands together – in a prayer to myself. A conversation with myself… or whoever might be listening.
I said to myself “Psalm, this has to stop. You are going to put one foot in front of the other and get yourself out of this nightmare life. You will never again descend into this terrible world. Go do Yoga.”
That’s where everything changed for the better.
Despite the fact that Yoga classes seemed like another world, I did as I was told, and from there everything was different.
Every time I stretched and inhaled, there was a loving and caring presence I hadn’t felt since I was a young girl. I felt pure bliss and joy enter me for the first time in a long time.