Thursday, February 27, 2014

Confusion, Consternation and Fascination - Sex Over a Lifetime

I feel obligated to write about what I've learned about sex over a lifetime, but I realize I actually don't know that much.  Which is a shame since sex seems to rule the world - well, money is the big ruler but sex is all mixed up with money anyway.

I guess that since sex is all mixed up with rules, shame, guilt, confusion, judgment and general ignorance, it's no wonder that it hasn't been a big topic of scientific research until the recent past.  Even now, it seems to be a bit taboo as a research subject.

I thought that by the time I reached a ripe old age (which I achieved when I reached 70 two and a half years ago), science would have gathered enough information to at least reduce the misery human beings are in because of sex a little bit.  But not so far as I can see.  I'm sad because I'm probably going to die before much gets better.

So, here's the thing - sex is one of the most powerful urges on the face of the earth.  Hunger is first but right after that comes sex.  And we are all ignorant but we passionately don't believe in our ignorance. Most of us seem to believe we already know everything about sex.  Not knowing that we don't know and believing that we do is the absolute worst kind of ignorance.

And our ignorance is causing misery everywhere.  Here's a partial list:
  • Unwanted pregnancies
  • Unwanted children
  • Parents who never wanted to be parents and who don't know how to be parents or are so messed up themselves that they are unable to parent.  Leading to abused/neglected children who grow up to be dysfunctional adults
  • Sexual jealousy leading to violence
  • Massive guilt and shame
  • Clueless adolescents misusing their sexuality
  • Wars fought over beliefs about sexuality
  • Rape
  • Other types of violence against women
  • Unhappy marriage partners
  • Hate crimes against gays
  • Subjugation of women
  • Men believing they're not good enough for all kinds of sexual reasons.
  • Young girls believing that their sexuality determines their worth in the world.
  • All sorts of bad hard-wiring that causes sexual predation of children, serial killers, etc.
  • Politicization of sex - laws governing it, etc.
  • AIDs epidemic in Africa
Then, here is a list of the things I wish would happen:

*  Everyone gets operating instructions for how their own body works.  (When I was growing up, there was no information at all.  I guess they thought that if we knew nothing, we would do nothing.  Haha and good luck with that!)
*  Everyone gets operating instructions for how the other sex's body works. 
*  Everyone gets instructions on how to manage their sex drive so that our sex drive doesn't drive us to do things we don't want to do.  This instruction would be mandatory for kids going into puberty.  (I don't mean cold showers.  That's stupid.)  I'm not sure there's even been any research on how to do this.
*  Everyone in or past puberty has easy, free access to birth control so that there are no unwanted pregnancies, no unwanted children, and no parents that don't want to be parents.
*  Everyone who has a child and decides they don't want to be a parent can drop the child off at the local fire station.
*  People who are hardwired to be attracted to children or want to rape or other sadistic sex urges are encouraged to get medication to eliminate their sex drive before they hurt someone.  If they do hurt  someone, they are in prison forever or must undergo mandatory elimination of their sex organs - their choice.
*  Medication to temporarily eliminate sex drive would be readily available to anyone who feels their sexuality is a burden.
*  Last but not least - and this is just a hope that will probably not be realized any time soon - religion that condemns people for their sexuality and sexual expression that hurts no one would cut that out. 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Give and Take in a Partnership

I'm currently single (and happy about it), but I've been married three times.  I learned a lot.  I've learned a lot more in my recovery program.  I also talk to a lot of people who are in a partnership and having conflict.  I've learned a lot from that too.

The thing is, from time to time one of the partners has a huge desire of the heart that if it were satisfied would make the other person feel like he/she were living in hell.  Unfortunately this kind of situation is kind of frequent - just my observation.  I'm not talking about the day to day conflict of where we eat dinner, who left the trash overflowing, etc.  I'm talking about the big stuff when someone really wants something and the other person feels terribly threatened.

I recently heard from one side of a conflict like that.  Luckily neither one of the partners blamed the other one.  Blame is usually the way it goes. Both sides feel attacked.  Then the conflict escalates into who's right and who's wrong, good/bad, etc.  Both see the other as an enemy.  Neither side wants to give in because they don't want to feel like the other person controls them.  Usually these fights get really messy and mean, and there are a lot of permanently hurt feelings. 

But in this case both sides listened to the other.  One of them gave in because of the pain the other person was in at the very thought of the potential change.  I'm sure that was hard to do.  They are to be congratulated for not trying to tear each other to shreds in a power struggle.

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Rocketed into the Fourth Dimension, Part 2

Let's see...since just before Christmas I've had one difficulty after another.  Eye doctor said I needed to do cataract surgery.  The guy that drove my car out of the car wash didn't speak English that well and didn't do my left-foot accelerator that well either - drove it right over a three-foot high concrete barricade, which according to State Farm, totaled it.  I missed Christmas with my Texas family.  I was coming down some stairs after a movie with friends on New Year's day, and twisted my bad knee.  There was an ominous pop and I left there in a wheelchair.  I missed my middle grandson's graduation from Air Force basic training.  About the time my knee healed and I was pretty much healed from the cataract removal from my right eye, I got the flu.  (I forgot about the flu shot - so much else was going on.)  My car was finally fixed (it wasn't really totaled) and I drove it home.  I pulled into the garage as far to the right as I could so that I could get the driver's door open all the way, making it possible for me to get out of the car without having to bend my right knee.  I miscalculated and ripped the right mirror off.  During this whole time, the weather was very wintery - snow, ice, bitter cold. 

So...   In the past any one of those things would have caused me to completely freak out.  Fear would have overcome my rational mind.  My self-criticism would have escalated and I would have kicked myself from here to Sunday.  All of those things happening in a short period of time ... well, I can't even imagine what I would have been like.  Instead, I laughed.  (I also cussed a good bit, but I laughed at the same time.)  I realized that all of that stuff was just stuff that happens.  The part I played in it just proved that I'm human.  Like I've been taught in recovery, I looked for the good in each event.  I'm still looking but I'm sure I'll find something to appreciate.  The lucky thing is that my friend, Eric, has been staying with me so he drove me from here to there, went to the store, picked up prescriptions, put drops in my eyes, heated up canned chicken and noodle soup and made soothing noises.

None of that may sound like much, but I am convinced that it's proof that I've been rocketed into the fourth dimension.  I was mildly irritated instead of being a basket case.  It was pretty peaceful inside my head.  I decided that God had given me another opportunity for a retreat.  I read Anne Lamott's latest book on spirituality and the latest issue of the Sun magazine.  I lost a couple of pounds.  Definitely the fourth dimension.

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

"Rocketed into the Fourth Dimension"

I recently talked with someone who was questioning the phrase, "rocketed into the 4th dimension" from the Big Book.  I'm not sure what she thought it meant, but she was pretty sure it hadn't happened for her.  She said she had been rocketed into a normal life.

So, from listening to her, I went back in time to when I felt like I had been rocketed into the fourth dimension and what that meant to me.  The simplest explanation was that I had had a spiritual awakening.  It was a feeling rather than a lifestyle change where I got a bunch of money, a fabulous boyfriend, and looked like a super model.

My best description is that I felt my spirit wake up.  I knew I had a spirit, but I wasn't sure where or what it was.  It was kind of a gradual process.  I felt as if I was in touch with a part of my original, true self as I was created to be and that that self was absolutely loved by my Creator. 

My spirit has never gone back to sleep again.  My spirit keeps pushing me toward living my life from my heart instead of my head.  My Creator speaks to me through my spirit.  My spirit is never afraid, is always accepting of all of life, is eager to see what life is going to bring next, and is totally confident that she can create the life she was created to live.

I don't know if I actually felt rocketed but certainly one minute my spirit was asleep and the next minute she was awake.  It wasn't all that dramatic and still isn't.  What a gift.

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