I am amazed when I hear that young teenagers and children, at increasingly younger ages, are feeling a high degree of social pressure to become more involved with alcohol, sex, pornography and ‘sexting’ – from one night stands to binge drinking. However, when I stop to look at our society, the role that our media provides, and the male and female role models that our children and we as adults aspire to, I sense an understanding of how this has become the ‘norm’ – even though it is far from normal behaviour. The way it’s been for me growing up is testimony to this.
My first experience of sex was when I was 16; a lot older than many and perhaps still younger than some. It was with my first boyfriend of six weeks. We had been to a party and had a couple of drinks when we went back to his house. I had planned to spend the night but I didn’t think too much about having sex. I felt unsure if this was what I wanted to do but I seemed to be oblivious that for him it was a definite part of the plan. I recall he sensed my hesitation and the next words from his mouth were “I do love you”.
With the combination of alcohol and the pressure I felt from him, and had placed on myself to be liked, I made the choice to override my uncertainty, have sex and commit to a long-term relationship.
Later, in my mid-twenties and newly single, I began to see a Universal Medicine (UniMed) practitioner. I had regular Chakra-puncture sessions where I was establishing a re-connection with myself – a connection that allowed me to feel more like me and to feel what was right for me. I began to become aware of and sweep away many of the beliefs and ideals that I had accumulated over my life, and arose to see myself more clearly as a beautiful woman. I knew that I was deserving of true love and that I had always held a deeply loving connection with myself.
Over the next year I was looking to meet new friends. Although I never overly enjoyed drinking alcohol I had always believed that I was more fun and could be more of me when I did drink. So many weekends became about going out to clubs, dancing the night away and having fun. The kind of fun that would leave my whole body aching and on a number of occasions suffering from a hangover that could last for days. It was normal to wake up with a headache or nausea, with blisters and bruises from unknown origins, missing belongings, exhaustion, dehydration and a vagueness that repeatedly proclaimed I was never drinking again!
How intriguing I find it now that I once made choices that would completely disregard my own body and its preciousness – it felt like an arrogance had taken me over, that I would deal with the pain later. I knew that I held a deep and loving connection with myself and what was right for me, but I was overriding my own inner-knowing with the beliefs that I thought were true. You won’t be any fun if you don’t drink, you’re letting others down or you will be boring, you’ll be missing out, everyone does this and you can’t be different… It’s amazing how far away from my own truth I actually was that such talk would work on me but it did, because I was choosing to override and numb what my body was really telling me and what I naturally knew.
With the outings came male attention, and as a single woman it was a new experience for me and I was surprised that men found me attractive. With the support of my practitioner, honesty and a willingness to work through my own issues, I was starting to feel the deep sadness I carried alongside the lack of self-worth that I had supported for far too long. But in an alcohol-fuelled body, in a loud nightclub, any attention from men appeared to be normal and strangely welcomed and once again I overrode what I truly felt – the disconnection to self and then to all others, the deep sadness and disrespect of one’s body and then of others’, and the seemingly normal behaviour that was medicating people (in the name of fun) from feeling their deepest hurts and the emptiness in their lives.
My experiences were proving to me that men would say anything in their attempt to have sex with me… and a few times I did. The deep hurt that I felt within my body afterwards was unbearable and I wondered how on earth I had made such unloving choices. In the moment I would bury my true feelings under guilt and shame but I always knew that I would one day find my understanding.
Men began to contact me via text message for what I thought might result in a date or perhaps a relationship, and I fashioned new ideals and beliefs for myself to explain this. To ‘be liked’ you must be easy going, available and show that you’re different to other women – not controlling or manipulative or emotional, etc. What I know now is there was never any true intention in me for a relationship because I wasn’t truly being me, I was giving my power away to an ideal of who I thought I should be and I invested in my desired outcome – the relationship or ‘love’ from another I thought I had potentially found.
For me, sexting felt no different from a one night-stand and in actual fact, no different to having sex with someone I was in a committed relationship with under the guise of ‘making love’. When the true marker of self-love was not there all I felt was the false excitement and heightened stimulation, the effort in trying to be all the right things to fill another’s fantasies and needs, and the deep emptiness and sadness within myself as I knew not only was there no true connection between us, but that I had overridden my own sacredness as a women through the choices I made to be less than who I was. I could feel that men and women were capable of true love and expression, but as I waited in expectation for another to share who they truly were with me, I was holding my own true self back.
At the time I didn’t want to fully feel the loveless behaviour I was choosing, but simultaneously I was still regularly seeing Universal Medicine practitioners and attending workshops presented by Serge Benhayon.
I had reconnected to my most powerful tool – self-love – and with this love I could not only feel the truth of the lovely and deeply tender woman that I really am, but that the choices I had made in the past were never really me. There is now no place for hardness towards myself or others, only understanding and compassion for how our choices came to be.
What I have felt is how all women are precious beings. We hold sacredness in our bodies and an innate knowing and connection to what is right for us in every moment. My connection to my inner-heart is gracious and solid and because I know this I will never have to give my power away to a substance that only serves to abuse or numb me from the truth, or override my feelings with adopted ideals or beliefs.
With a true sense of self-worth and self-love, we can provide our children with true role models and present to humanity a way of life that shows we need not succumb to the pressures from outside of us – to have sex when we’re not ready to, or to be involved in sexting, one night stands or using alcohol to fit in – for, as I have come to know, there is a more harmonious and joyful way to live.
By Cherise Holt, Nurse, Brisbane