Sex is generally a taboo subject in most churches, but not at The Unity Center of New York City! Justin Epstein takes a candid look at how sexual energy and expression can be part of our spiritual growth.
Full Video Transcript (transcript by Victoria Barkely)
Remember in Christianity it (sexuality) got a negative stigma. Paul was a single man. He was uncomfortable with his own sexuality. He believed that the kingdom was coming, so it was better to be celibate. If you had to give in, then get married.
St. Augustine, who greatly shaped Christian theology — had a couple of lovers and a child out of wedlock—also believed that sex was sinful. And he believed that because you’re born out of sex, you are born in sin…that was his idea.
So, if subconsciously, we learn through religion that there is something wrong with it, there’s a good explanation why; because people are uncomfortable, or have been, with their sexuality, with their nature. So, it’s important to fall in love with oneself—to accept what’s there, what’s present—and when you do that, really, I have found (in my own life) that there is a balance. I don’t need to express it…or, I may choose to. It doesn’t run me. It doesn’t rule me. I don’t need to make decisions based on it. It’s there but I’m in charge and it’s not in charge of me. And I think it is also important to have integrity with our sexuality…to have integrity.
One lady went to a counseling session with a couple. She had come from another country. And she said to them, “I have come all the way from this other country to ask you this question.” She had been a nun in another country and she was no longer a nun. And she said, “I want to ask you. Are my feelings evil or sick?” And they sensed this woman had been through a lot in her other country. She said, “My feelings are for another woman.” And she had such courage and resilience through that challenging time when she had learned that there was something wrong with that.
And one of the counselors said to her, “You know, I can sense—and I want you to sense for yourself—how you feel about this other woman. And how does it feel to you, because I don’t sense anything sick or bad or evil about what you are feeling. And how do you feel about what you feel? ”
And she said, “I feel only beautiful…only beautiful.”
And he said, “That’s what I sense. It is only beautiful. It is something to celebrate with your other one.”
“Oh, but my family…they are going to reject me if they learn how I feel.”
“No, no, no. Remember, all you can do is have integrity within yourself, be authentic with yourself. Don’t lie to others about yourself. They won‘t reject you. They may reject how you feel. They may reject your choices, but they can’t reject you. You have to be authentic to yourself. “
And that’s important; falling in love with ourselves and knowing that it’s okay to be who we are.