Despite the era in which we live, where any information (right or wrong) can be found instantaneously at your finger tips via a Google search, one of the most common problems I hear in my office is the struggle of my clients to overcome sexual shame and accept their sexuality. You might wonder, how could one still be ashamed of being gay when positive messaging about homosexuality can be found all over the internet and mainstream media? How could one still be afraid to admit their fetish to a partner when Fifty Shades of Grey was a runaway best seller? These are important questions to ask since I believe they directly address the mechanism through which the change process occurs.
You see, it’s not enough to cognitively understand something. It’s not enough to have facts and figures in front of you. And it’s not enough to have other people around you convincing you to dispel your opinions. That’s because there’s a huge gap between knowing and believing. Knowing is having disposal to certain information. But believing is when that knowledge becomes internalized. And true change only happens when our beliefs become internally congruent with the things we know. And it is this process of changing beliefs that requires lived experience in order to take hold.
We’ve all heard the phrase “walk a mile in someone’s shoes”, or some other version, which basically means that you can’t truly understand another person’s experience without having lived it yourself. We are all familiar with these ideas because on some level, as we’ve all had the experience of having that “light bulb” moment when […]