body shame, naked babyYou weren’t born hating your body. You weren’t born sexually numb with low libido. You weren’t born with shame around your genitals. You were born naked.

As a young child before pleasure and self-exploration was shamed and cultured out of you, you found delight, curiosity and pleasure in your body. You weren’t born thinking you were fat or that you had a funny belly or a big ass or any of the stories that might be filling your head. You didn’t call yourself names like “Dumpy.”

You were born beautiful and delighted in your body. You weren’t born being frightened of your sensuous nature; you were taught to close it down because the adults, community, media messages and religious structures in your life controlled you. All of these “adults in power” fed you messages that taught you to fear your body and sexual shame.

You weren’t born being frightened of sexual orientation, or even understanding gender roles. You were not born dieting or restricting pleasure. You asked for cookies, touch and all kinds of pleasure as easily as you took air in and out of your body.

You were carefully taught that in order to be accepted and loved and to have a good life you needed to cloak your body, change your body, control you desires and hide your core erotic being. You weren’t taught consent, you were taught to endure, pretend and hide. You may have been trusted in every area of your life by the adults around you except in the area of your sexuality. You learned that this part of your life needed to be controlled and carefully monitored.

We are all in recovery.

Blaming our parents, the adults around us as we were growing up, our religious institutions and government leaders as they are now is useless. How does that really support you right now in your life? Blame gets you nothing; understanding and taking action does. It’s important to remember that the people around us were raised in the culture you were raised in. What they taught you, they taught you out of fear, and out of doing the right thing. The people who cultured us out of body confidence and our sexuality thought they were teaching us to fit in and be “good people.”

The work of erotic recovery is yours. It’s reaching back for what you were born with — your own authentic erotic being. This is what I mean by “erotic mastery.”

It’s a reclaiming of who you were at birth before the culture got hold of you and your erotic being. If you decide that you want to reclaim what was taken from you as your birth right — you can. It takes courage and practice. It involves letting go of historical myths that you may be holding, as well as learning how to love our erotic and physical selves again.

I believe that this is how we will change and heal the world. We need to change us, this new set of adults, which will help us recover our light. If we become this new light of body positive and self-loving beings, we will be able to raise and/or influence children who will teach their children a different way of being.

We get to choose. Do we want to live a life where we cultivate a life of reclaiming our given right to loving self-acceptance, creativity and pleasure? Or do we want to live in an historic past that haunts us with self-doubt, shame, self-hatred and the judgement of others?

When you choose to recover your sexuality and body confidence, you will help heal not only yourself, but also you will help heal the world.

Pamela Madsen runs retreats around the country to help women re-connect to their bodies and sensuous nature and is author of the book; “Shameless: How I Ditched The Diet, Got Naked, Found True Pleasure and Somehow Got Home in Time to Cook Dinner” (Rodale 2011).

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