When Sex Meets God:
One Woman's Experience of Inner Reconciliation
Researching the connection between sexuality and spirituality was the last topic I would have imagined pursuing in my journey to secure a PhD.
This memoir is a story about the unraveling of my life, the torture of knowing who I was leaving behind but not knowing who I was becoming, learning that the key to my transformation was exploring wounds I didn’t know I had, and coming to understand that my unique experience is one expression of what is emerging from the collective as a desire to reconcile what seem like opposing forces. Oh, that already sounds so serious. This story is also as entertaining and juicy as a good movie or a Netflix series. Early on in my unraveling, I found that a sense of humor about my own life was a helpful coping mechanism. I hope you feel that you’re reading the diary of a woman in midlife that contains private and juicy insights most women are not brave enough to share.
The details of my story are personal, but the themes that run through it are universal. The insights I gained helped me make sense of my personal experience of being human, but those insights evolved into clues about what has been percolating underneath the surface of collective humanity. My secondary wish is for people in general to challenge assumptions about what is natural, evolutionary, righteous, and true, especially when those assumptions benefit some and result in injustice for others.
How life had changed for 55-year-old Sophia. The ending of a 24-year marriage, the pursuit of a PhD, getting her two children off to college. Even a soulmate relationship with a younger man – 17 years younger! – which ended just as dramatically as it had begun.
Two months ago, Sophia had sold her house and everything in it, said goodbye to her adult children, and drove down to Florida to live in a beach town. No sooner had she started settling into her new life than memories of her brief encounter with another man – Jason – twelve months earlier erupted from her unconscious. Sigh. Timing is everything, and alas, it was not meant to be – at least not then, and not on Sophia’s terms.
Now, Sophia began to see his likeness everywhere. The fantasy reunion tortured her. Then one evening: The familiar voice came from the man seated at the other end of the bar. “Stop!” Sophia told herself. She had been duped many times by her over-active imagination. “Is it him?” Sexual attraction is like a gift of grace with an agenda and timeline all its own.
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What People Are Saying About The Fantasy
Intelligent & Fun
Sophia is such a modern heroine . . . probably too smart for most men. I found myself rooting for her and this man to reunite. Written with so much attention to innermost psychological desire, I was captivated and wanted to know what happens next.
The open and raw vulnerability reveal courage and a deeply provocative honesty. I was captivated and intrigued, the author grabbed my attention from the first sentence. I felt happy to be included in the shared intimacy.
A Single Moment
I felt an unusual sense of alert presence as I walked through the entrance into the courtyard where yoga class was taking place. My body seemed to accept an invitation through this symbolic threshold to another realm.
“Is this the 7:30 class?” I asked the woman whose calm and stately presence suggested she was the yoga instructor.
“Are you excited?!” DJ asked as he hung his jacket on the back of a barstool and ordered a beer. “It’s like you’re on an adventure.”
I wanted so badly to say Yes! But I just couldn’t. I could no longer answer those questions in a way that seemed to serve no other purpose than to reassure the questioner.
I had begun to experience the kind of coming out of the closet that other women who have reached midlife talk about. They begin to take off the armor of fitting into the wounded masculine culture, their new nakedness manifesting as the freedom to tell the truth, especially about themselves.
What people say about this story
I LOVE it! What you have written so far, for me, reads SO powerful yet subtle, almost tragic yet celebratory, scary yet uplifting, and more! I really so love it.
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When I was working as a Head of Schools in a system plagued by scarcity mentality, Deborah and her consultants helped change the culture to one of abundance. We knew the steps for success but lacked the mental model to create sustainable change. As I read The Secret To Fundraising, I re-lived the painful but necessary changes to the psyche of our organization that her leadership provided.
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