Parental Mirroring

The need of both boys and girls to be mirrored properly by their parents and caretakers is of prime importance in growing up. This means that their unique self-worth is reflected back to them, so that they can grow up naturally, and achieve a healthy self-concept, free from social or familial conditions or double-binds.

In infancy, this mirroring comes from the primary caretaker, and has been the subject of much study in psychology, particularly in the Object Relations school of psychoanalysis. But in order to develop their natural right to be complete human beings, boys and girls also need to be mirrored as sexual beings, with bodies that include their genitals. This means that they need their parents’ active support and mirroring, especially at the ages of 4-6 and at puberty/adolescence, to reflect back that they are good, natural, and welcome sexual, genital beings.

This process is also necessary to help children to align with their natural energetic flow the Genital-Heart Energetic Streaming - which, according to Sexual Grounding, circulates between heart and genitals in a gender-specific way. This energy flow needs to be balanced and regulated throughout life to achieve realistic and satisfying gender identities as well as fulfilling relationships based on love and exchange.

However, due to cultural difficulties in most families, this mirroring has been largely ignored or denied. This, in turn, gives rise to a society in which many of us do not develop as complete human beings. We either experience ourselves as being cut off at the waist, living only from the head, or are greatly over-excited by sexuality. Either way, we have little real confidence in knowing what it is to be an embodied man or woman. Modern western society compounds the problem, promoting unrealistic bodily perfection and sexual excitement as part of daily commercial activity.

Thus, individuals are subject regular sexual over-stimulation in their minds and are thereby open to exploitation and shame, not to mention sexual abuse, while remaining ignorant about the true nature of sexuality. The sex act itself clearly serves the purpose of procreation, and, in a loving relationship, it can grow into a celebration of interpersonal intimacy. The heart, as the seat of feeling and the regulator of the nervous system, is the other major sexual centre and the mediator of relationship. It is also in our sex-lives that many of our emotional problems - individual and relational - come out. Increasingly though, we have been separating sexuality from relationship, and so over-riding our hearts.