“When you love your beloved not merely as an unconscious strategy of ego but as an expression of the Eros of existence, outrageous love is awakened inside you, and your entire experience of life changes…. You begin to live the erotic life in every dimension of your non-sexual life. As you re-eroticise your life, you are personally transformed.”
(Gafni & Kincaid, 2017)
How is having a high-level love life transformative? I know from my years of work in this field that it is, so as the research component of my recent Masters of Science in Consciousness, Spirituality and Transpersonal Psychology I investigated this question. With six couples who volunteered to share their great love lives with me, I did a deep dive into how they found they had transformed – personally, relationally and sexually.
This article covers the personal transformation side and the next two articles will cover each of the relational and sexual.
From the interviews and discussions with these couples it was clear that they had grown and transformed and that the focus on sexuality had been a significant part of that growth, but they had all done personal and relational development work as well, which no doubt contributed. Nonetheless, they felt that the sexual had contributed to the personal and they had become:
- More confident
- More vulnerable and open
- Less guilt, and/or shame
- More open-minded
- More gentle
- More whole
- More embodied
- More intuitive, with more synchronicity in life
- Liberated, free
- Happier and more joyful
These qualities reminded me of a description of spiritual growth by Steve Taylor that I had read during my studies - and what is personal growth if not spiritual growth?:
"A movement towards an increased expansiveness of being, towards an increased openness, an enhanced awareness, an increased sense of connection and a more authentic and meaningful existence."
So, I asked my research couples whether they felt they had grown as individuals in this way, and they replied:
“We think in all cases our sexual development has led us to being better as individuals on all counts, particularly increased openness, connection and awareness for sure”.
“Yes, to all”
“Once I’d started work on my own inner self, openness, to feel a true authentic and connected way of life, to “be me”, then the sexual growth bloomed. I feel all these experiences grow with each other. If one element begins to lack lustre the other seem to “pull up” and assist getting all back in sync.”
“Definitely for me – I was outward looking and expansive already… but having the support and trust to be vulnerable and open has expanded that greatly and made me much more comfortable within my own skin and confident that I can send ever more energy out into the world. My internal world/personal connection to the universe has also increased.”
“Happiness. We’re blessed, so we want to utilise every minute of every day with our beloved; enjoy the present and look forward to and plan the future.”
“There’s no doubt that our sexual development, individually and as a couple, have supported improved trust, openness, connection and authenticity for us both.”
The experience of the twelve individuals in these six couples certainly does indicate that focusing on sexual growth and awareness leads to greater personal growth, which is something I’ve felt personally in my own life and which I’ve seen with countless clients and retreat and workshop participants.