In Break the Grip of Past Lovers, author Jumana Sophia teaches women how to move beyond the lingering betrayals of past relationships to reclaim their personal power, reestablish healthy boundaries, and move forward into deeper and more intimate relationships with a renewed sense of sensual receptivity and emotional balance.
With a teaching style that is warm, down to earth, and full of wisdom that speaks to the often-misunderstood vulnerability and power of female sexuality, Jumana guides women beyond the limitations of talk therapy and into a personal homecoming that will become a foundation for truly healthy intimacy in the future.
Break the Grip of Past Lovers addresses regret, remorse, low self-esteem, and the inability to connect fully or trust someone new. Jumana guides the reader through experiences of betrayal, neglect, loss of personal power, manipulation, and even experiences that were so beautiful that they have left grief and irreconcilable longing in their place.
The journey she presents is a journey of initiation into power, catalyzed by the kind of heartbreak and loss of self that only past sexual relationships can provide.
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About the Author
Jumana Sophia is a deeply trusted teacher, beloved ceremonialist, writer, healer, and ordained priestess. She is a guide. She has raised two temples and founded Her Mystery School - an international women's ministry and mystery school. Her work articulates the soul road of womanhood and the nobility, the eternal rightness and incorruptible beauty of female sexuality.
When a woman rises, all of life rises with her.
Read an Excerpt
The Journey to Wholeness
A dear friend of mine has a small ceramic cup that is very special to her. Years ago, it slipped from her hands in the sink and a piece of it broke off. As she went to discard the cup with a heavy heart, she remembered hearing something about an ancient Japanese art called kintsugi — the practice of mending broken pottery with golden lacquer. In this process, the brokenness of an item becomes a highlight, an artful aesthetic addition as well as a practical fix. The resulting piece is even more beautiful, and this is what she did with this cup, which now sits proudly on display in her kitchen.
This story moved me deeply, as I understood it as a symbol for the transformation that is available to us all. When we are broken, we might feel inclined to hide the wound or try to get back to the way we were before. But rather than seeking to be "like new," we can aim to become whole again — our broken histories incorporated into our beauty.
The experience of sexual intimacy with another person can be transformative, in that it can shape and change us in profound ways. For this reason, experiences of past lovers — particularly those that ruptured, confused, distorted, or diminished you — have an ongoing impact on your whole being.
As I mentioned in the introduction, there is rarely, if ever, a sexual exchange that is truly casual. After all, you are opening up the deepest private place in your being to another, whether for a night or a lifetime. The experience you have with a lover can open you up to both immense beauty and intense suffering. The power of these feelings is in direct relation to the potential and depth of your sexual being.
In a perfect world, we would have a clear process for handling the loss of an intimate relationship. We would live in a culture that acknowledged the energetic reality of being entwined with another person, and we would be taught how to untangle or unwind what no longer served us as relationships fall apart. We would have the time to mourn, to restore, to recalibrate. We would have support through this powerful life transition, rather than being told it was something to just move past.
Of course, this is not the case in our society. Instead, when a relationship ends — especially if things such as neglect, manipulation, or betrayal are involved — we often struggle with a lack of clarity about how to move forward through the wreckage. When we add the pressures of our jobs, taking care of family, or other large commitments, the struggle to keep it all going can feel overwhelming and leave us longing for even a glimpse of support or release.
This is exhausting and leaves a lot of unclear agreements and tangled energies between you and your former partner. Even when we part ways with a lover with good communication and well-wishes, there will often be a period of mourning, adjustment, and emotional transition that demands its full time and space.
As we move through the work in this book, we will dig into the heap of your past loverships and harvest the gold that remains there. With this rediscovered gold, we will fashion a crown of self-authority for your brow. Together, we will realign with wholeness, power, and the truth of the female sexual current that flows through us all — vulnerable and deeply sensitive, the most generative, creative force on the planet.
In the many years I have helped women in this arena, I have found that even in the most extreme cases of abuse and neglect, you can always transform a toxic experience into energy that sustains and strengthens you. I have witnessed time and time again that women have unparalleled capacities for transformation. This is the balance of power and vulnerability of being a woman, of what it is to open so deeply to another.
While difficult or traumatic experiences can be addressed to some extent through therapy, along with the wisdom of time, the support of friends, and even the arrival of a new and better-suited lover, these things are just a temporary bandage on a deep wound. Healing the female sexual current and connecting with a deep knowing of oneself as a woman of value and wholeness requires a different approach. That's because, at the deepest level, the rupture of previous intimacies usually results in a rift between you and your trust in yourself, your belief in your own worth and goodness.
The good news is that there is an ancient and interrupted lineage of women's wisdom that offers active arts of recovery and restoration. These arts have been lost or hidden at times in our collective history, and we have all paid the price. The approach gathered in these pages is an accumulation of these arts; this book serves as a guide for restoring healthy sexuality, discernment, and openness to your intimate life.
As you shed the residual impact of past lovers and start tending to the rich emotional terrain within you, you will open on every level, blossoming into aspects of life and yourself that are beyond imagining. The journey in the following pages will change the very fabric of your being, not just your ideas or perceptions about yourself or your relationships. When you put past loverships fully to rest, you come home to yourself, and you enter a state of balance and wholeness that you may never have known, even before your sexual adventures (or misadventures, as you might see them now).
Here are the goals I'd like you to achieve by the end of our journey together:
[??] Reclaim your personal power.
[??] Restore uncompromising self-respect.
[??] Celebrate the things about yourself as a woman and a lover that you used to view with criticism.
[??] Prepare to receive a new lover or your current lover with greater emotional intimacy.
[??] Become more expansive and confident sexually.
[??] Experience a deeper trust and love with yourself and your current or future partner.
This is a big list, and I have witnessed many, many women claim every
one of these gifts. I want you to do the same. Are you ready?
Begin Where You Are
You may not yet realize the extent to which past loverships can color your sense of self, dim your radiance, and block your ability to be truly intimate with yourself and another. Thankfully, the heartbeat of your feminine power is much deeper and more powerful. Under no circumstances can it be conquered by these experiences. They have affected you, and it is important to know how, but it's you who will determine the ultimate outcome of these experiences. In fact, you will use these very experiences to tap into a power within you that will return you to your essence.
Pause with me to consider these possible indicators that residual trauma or experiences of past lovers still have you in their grip:
[??] Low self-esteem and/or low self-respect
[??] Mistrust in the world and/or relationship partners
[??] A general feeling of insecurity in your relationships
[??] Inability to trust yourself to make good choices
[??] Denial/denigration of your emotional needs and deepest desires in a relationship
[??] Sexual stagnancy (you have become cut off from your sexual vitality) or a tendency to ignore your healthy sexual boundaries (you give yourself away)
[??] Consistent recreation of abusive or negligent
[??] Inability to receive or trust the love and intimacy that is truly being held for you by a trustworthy and respectful partner
Too often, we tolerate many of these states of being, thinking this is "just the way it is." We create stories about ourselves that support these ideas, and we often criticize ourselves for not being stronger, more confident, clearer, freer, and more alive. We might even blame ourselves for being on the receiving end of bad behavior from others.
It's certainly not easy to transform and harvest strength from the devastation that ruptured intimacies can bring. It takes work. But through clearing, healing, and recovering your power from these experiences, you can embrace a transformation that will lead you to a healthy sexuality, unrelenting self-confidence, and right relationship with yourself and another. As you reclaim your wholeness, you'll find yourself unable to betray your own trust or your own best interests ever again. In that way, your past failed relationships will become fuel for the flame of your current desires, and you'll see them as some of the most important and necessary experiences of your life. This is true regardless of your age, your past, or your perceived limitations.
When past intimacies remain unresolved — when they block the full embodiment of your sexuality and your ability to foster intimacies with another — the cost to you and to those you love extends far beyond the bedroom. A woman who is nourished and honored by the intimacies she chooses will flower and bear fruit to all in her sphere. A woman who is diminished, compromised, or entrapped by the intimacies she chooses often can't fully show up in the other areas of her life until the remnants of the past are cleared.
As we begin this journey together, please remember that it's not your fault if you've found yourself unable to let go of a person, a pattern, a past, or a compromised perception of yourself. It's simply that you're navigating difficult terrain without the necessary tools or maps to guide you home. We're going to change all that here. You'll be amazed by what you really are, what you are truly capable of, and how much life there is just on the other side of what may seem like an insurmountable hill.
You deserve a relationship that is respectful and fulfilling on all levels. It serves nothing and no one for you to settle for less, to surrender to feeling dimmed and shut down, or to offer the pearls of your intimacy to anyone who cannot cherish their value. I commend you for taking the time to free yourself from the grip of past lovers and clear the distortions you may have picked up along the way. This is one of the greatest gifts you can give to yourself and everyone who enters your world.
I have been there myself, and I am grateful on behalf of all the beings who make up your world that you are tending to the sensitive and unspeakable miracle that is you. It takes courage to pick up this book, to embrace this journey of empowerment and transformation, to get radically honest with yourself, and to take a clear look at what has been in order to shift into what will be. It takes self-respect to steward your needs, to honor your intimate terrain, to care for your heart, and to heal what has been hurt in you. No one else can do this for you; this is a journey you must take for yourself.
I am here with you in spirit, and by the end of this journey you will be in a deeper, more beautiful, and more truthful understanding of who you really are as a woman, regardless of what circumstances or past loverships have led you to believe. You are vulnerable and powerful beyond your imagining.
On our journey together I will recommend a handful of simple rituals, all of which are designed to help you break the grip of past lovers, step into your own personal power, and claim your sexual sovereignty. Before we go further, I'd like to say a few words about rituals in general, because too often (in part due to religious backgrounds or an avoidance of the superstitious) women will avoid ritual because they misunderstand the power and point of it.
The deepest power of ritual comes from two things:
[??German] Your choice and focus
[??] Your connection with your subconscious
Ritual focuses your attention on the transformation you're experiencing, and helps you clarify your intentions. The simple act of turning toward yourself and your desire for transformation with more than just your thinking mind activates a change deep inside your being. This outer manifestation of an inward desire creates an energetic wave that is far more powerful than just the ritual itself might appear to be.
If clearing past lovers and integrating major sexual experiences were as simple as consciously choosing to do it, we'd all have done it (and a whole bunch of other challenging things) long ago. It's obvious that sexuality impacts us on levels far deeper than the conscious mind and is profoundly mysterious. Ritual actions, even simple ones such as lighting a candle, creating a beautiful altar, or washing or burning things to purify them, can help you connect to the deeper aspects of your being, in an easy, personal way.
Remember, you cannot connect with the subconscious, or the mysteries within you, through the conscious mind. The conscious mind speaks in linear terms, understanding cause and effect through analysis. Of course it's important to care for and enlist the power of your conscious mind, and you can do so through therapy, talking, and other such processes. But with the subconscious, you have to use a whole different approach. The subconscious is affected through symbols, action, and sensory realities like taste, color, touch, and sound. When you practice a personal ritual, what you're really doing is making a connection with the part of yourself that you can't know consciously. You are speaking to a deep aspect of yourself that can't be spoken to with simple, linear words. It's this deeper, more mysterious, and hidden part of you that often holds on to unresolved experiences.
Creating a ritual does not have to be in conflict with anything else in your life — your religious background or your family or cultural beliefs. In fact, creating personal rituals is all about incorporating these things, or anything that is personally meaningful to you, into the ritual itself. Knowing this, as we go forward explore the power of ritual to bring your subconscious into alignment with your conscious desires.
To set the stage for this journey, I invite you to choose a journal just for the purpose of working through this book. This will be the first ritual you implement, and I encourage you to either write or reflect on past writings two to three times per week to start. Setting time aside to write and to think will not only help you integrate the lessons in this book, but will also help you gain clarity on past experiences and the direction you want to take in the future.
Journaling Below are some of the questions posed in this chapter. Take a moment now to write the answers in your journal. Magic occurs when we write down theseanswers rather than just think about them, as we will often see patterns on the page that we don't notice in our thoughts. For that reason, I encourage you to be as specific as possible.
This is for your eyes only, so write fully and freely, without editing yourself or beating yourself up. I encourage you to be gentle with yourself in this process, as it may bring up strong emotions and troubling memories. That's okay. Through these questions, we are simply beginning the process of you getting to know yourself — exactly as you are, right this moment.
I have included some examples to get you started.
1. In past relationships, what has been the cost to you of relinquishing your needs?
Example: In my marriage, I lost sight of my need to spend time by myself. This cost me the ability to renew myself as an introvert and led me to push through my discomfort until it caught up with me and I got resentful.
Example: I have a deep need for secure attachment, a commitment that I can trust. I relinquished that need thinking that I could grow by being more "adventurous" and "open," and it resulted in irreconcilable feelings of insecurity and anxiety that eventually soured the relationship.
Example: I am a social, extroverted person who thrives on interaction. Because of my partner's jealousy, I stopped going out and seeing friends, dancing, and doing all the things I love. It cost me joy and my sense of freedom.
2. When have you compromised on things that were previously nonnegotiable?
Example: Cheating was nonnegotiable, but I allowed myself to be talked into another chance after it happened.
Example: Due to past painful relationships with addicts and my own addictive tendencies, it was nonnegotiable that my partner maintain his sobriety. I allowed myself to be convinced that it wasn't my right to ask him to stop when he started a daily drink, but it created a backslide in my life that almost cost me my sobriety.
Example: Being a single parent in charge of the loving guidance of my kids was nonnegotiable; I am the final say when it comes to limits and consequences. I compromised in order to keep the peace, and my relationship with my kids suffered.
3. When have you bowed your head and turned your eyes away so that you would not see what you didn't want to see?
Example: I didn't want to see the manipulation and jealousy that was keeping me from having a closer relationship with my siblings.
Example: I didn't want to see that my husband was actually emotionally and mentally unstable, because I knew it would mean that he didn't actually have the capacity to have a healthy relationship with me.
Example: I didn't want to hear that my partner wasn't actually ready for a commitment because I wanted a relationship so badly. I leaned way out of my center and did everything I could to keep him happy so that I wouldn't have to acknowledge that he never felt ready to have this relationship in the first place.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Break the Grip of Past Lovers"
Copyright © 2019 Jumana Sophia.
Excerpted by permission of Hierophant Publishing.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
1 The Journey to Wholeness 1
2 Personal Power 23
3 Healing from Neglect 37
4 Healing from Betrayal and Manipulation 55
5 Taking Responsibility for Your Own Behavior 79
6 Soaking Up the Positive 95
7 Reclaiming Your Sacred Needs 111
8 Creating Boundaries for Future Loverships 127
9 Establishing Your Sexual Sovereignty 145