When this question appears on the list, most of the long-time mamas will reply, “We call genitals by their proper names at our house from birth onward.” This was the way we approached body parts in my house. Children can be taught words like penis and vagina. While they may not be able to pronounce the words correctly at first, they will eventually learn them. If they are able to comfortably name their own body parts without shame, the first step in change has been made in working to undo the widespread societal shame that is shared about our bodies and our sexuality.
If you find yourself unable to talk to your young children about their body parts, it’s a great time for you to begin working on healing of your own. There are many talented life coaches and therapists who are able to assist you coming to terms with your body and your sexuality, helping normalize them and making it easier for you to teach your children a healthier belief system about their bodies. However, be wary as you select a guide as there are many unhealthy sex therapists or healers in the world. Carefully check out the websites of anyone you consider; if anything seems off to you, trust your instinct that you don’t want to work with this particular practitioner. Keep searching until you find someone who makes you feel as though you will be safe while you process the stored shame you have around sexuality. That may not be the first person you speak with. I am happy to work with those who have sexual shame to overcome, but I acknowledge that I am not the correct practitioner for every person who needs to heal.
With some devoted work, eventually it is possible to succeed in changing your thoughts and emotions around your body and sexuality. Shame can be released, and you can find healing that will allow you to talk to your children and others about sexuality, body parts, and other issues without feeling as though you are talking about something “wrong” or improper. You can reach a place where sexuality is a positive and even holy thing in all its aspects.
© 2015 Elizabeth Galen, Ph.D., Green Heart Guidance, LLC