The Four-Dimensional Wheel is a living breathing entity. As soon as I begin to speak about the Wheel to a client, the energy in the room begins to stir. Clients more often than not have a perplexed yet intrigued look on their faces. As for me, the minute I begin to speak of the Wheel there is an excitement that begins deep in my body because I know we are entering the realm of the mysterious, the space where logic and linear do not exist.
George had first come to see me because he needed assistance with what he had been told was sexual addiction issues and infidelity in his two previous marriages. The more we dove into these “issues” the more we found ourselves piecing away stories of what it means to be a man in the world and most importantly, what it means to be sexually masculine. He spoke about being a young boy seeing men objectify women. How they would comment in front of the women and behind their back. He recalls his father telling him that being a real man meant to have as many sexual conquests as possible and that a real man did not feel guilty about doing this. When barely out of high school, my client went in to the military. There these beliefs about manhood were reinforced: The weekends were about drinking and having numerous sexual encounters. He was able to recall the moment he decided to shut down feelings because there was no room for them in the military or in his sexual conquests especially when visiting the local brothels to show his fellow soldiers what a man he could be. He also spoke of how most of his family members repeated the same patterns and a happy marriage was rare.
When I invite clients to initially place their sacred objects into the Wheel, I do not let them know which quadrant is which. My invitation is to allow intuition to serve as a guide. As George placed, his items into the Wheel, I noticed that many of the items were placed in the Spiritual quadrant. He brought several objects to represent the parts of his sexual self he wanted to nourish and the parts he desired to release. In the middle of all the objects was a picture of his toddler son. My client’s greatest desire being that his beautiful son be liberated from any intergenerational issues.
When he realized that his items were in the Spiritual quadrant, his anxiety became palpable. George is a deeply devout and practicing Catholic. His spiritual practice was an area of both light and dark, acceptance and deep shame for there were parts of himself that he forced into the dark so that he could be accepted by his church. He stepped into the mental, emotional, and physical quadrants. He spoke of his of his Catholic values, his beliefs of being a man , and how sex, unless used for procreation, should not be wanted anymore because it had led him into many dark paths. The combination of these areas resulting in much grief, confusion, and above all shame. He walked the Wheel several times telling his stories. He avoided the Spiritual area for quite a while.
I began to walk the Wheel myself as I do many times with clients. I shared of my own struggle having also attended parochial school in my youth. George smiled and shared that he felt validated. I then stepped into the Spiritual quadrant and began to share the story of the Ecstasy of St. Teresa. With some persuasion, he finally joined me in the quadrant. With tears rolling down his cheeks, he shared that the God he believed in would never love him for having used sex the way he did. We talked about the Good Father, a theme that threaded most of our previous sessions. We shared Biblical stories including that of the Prodigal Son. Each story centered around forgiveness, He cried some more and through his tears caught the image of his son. Then it hit him. He would accept and love his son no matter what he did — “he could be a murder and my love for him would never diminish.” Suddenly his energy lifted and he stood in a more empowered way. He began to walk the Wheel again speaking as the Father. When he arrived once again at the Spiritual Quadrant, he breathed in deep. He shared that walking the Wheel allowed him to see all his parts until he was ready to take them on. He placed his objects in the middle of the Wheel symbolizing integration. His belief that God did not love him was just that, a belief.
As we closed the circle, George returned to the Spiritual quadrant sharing that he had done what he knew best at the time he made those choices. Right now in the present, his practice was to love and forgive himself like the Good Father does. He then looked straight at me and said, ”God is always there. He is a Good Father always ready to love and hold us. Even when bad things happen, He is there — waiting to love us, waiting for us to remember how much He cares”. In that very moment, every cell in my body trembled. The words that George had shared applied to me just as much as they applied to him. The Medicine Wheel is a living breathing entity. It speaks the truth in mysterious ways. It is always ready to help us remember who we really are and how truly we are loved even when we least expect it.
Jacqueline N. Mendez, M.A.
Professional Life Coach
AASECT Certified Sex Therapist
21201 Victory Blvd, Suite 200
Woodland Hills, CA 91303