As I receive American news feeds, I see that the US was recently reeling in two separate sex scandals. I can only imagine what is going on behind closed doors for all of these men: John Edwards the politician, as well as the 12 Secret Service men sent back to the US from Cartagena, Colombia after all being caught with sex workers, while on assignment for President Obama.
What I imagine is each one has been spiraled into a dark night of the soul which started with a rude awakening when a revealed sly sex act quickly led to a campaign dismantled, or jobs lost amongst the backdrop of viral media coverage.
How many of the Secret Service men were married or in a committed partnership? How many had children who are old enough to know what a prostitute is? What chaotic dark nights of the soul are these wives, girlfriends and children back home going through?
Welcome to the world of the Shadow, the haunting promise of Sex and the most humbling Reckoning with oneself.
All of these men in all their undeniable professional irresponsibility and - when in a committed relationship - their searing betrayals, are also mortal beings who unknowingly have sacrificed themselves as tragic figures upon whom the world over can project their judgements, fears or relief - "Pal, glad it was you caught, and not me!"
And speaking of mortal beings - these secret servicemen who visit "prostitutes" remind me of the James Bond flicks where the beautiful girl hired by the enemy tries to seduce Agent 007. Sex is a mighty powerful allure, promising ultimately rapture and union with the Divine and everything in between. As long as the inner life is not given priority and cultivated, any "warrior" on a mission to protect the US president or stop the ominous enemy, will be ultimately rendered useless and ineffective. Any politician aiming to be President of the US, will eventually be humbled that the inner life is unavoidable amongst the headiness of power and fame.
This dark night of the soul, if weathered courageously and with skilled guidance, will actually temper all of these men into Real Men- men capable of mature self-accountability and the strength to stay the emotional depths of uncomfortable vulnerability and emotional and spiritual self-knowledge. Otherwise a tabloidesque drama will continue of prolonged blame and avoidance of the paramount issues that I believe are calling for resolution.
Bravo to the Colombian sex worker who stood up and claimed her right to the agreed terms of service. I believe she mirrors the deep, emotional, vulnerable purity in her American client who somewhere deep within must also be ready to stand up and say to himself, "Claim me! I can't do this any longer. I can't tolerate the denial of my inner own secret fears, fantasies and insistent rumblings one day more."
I also trust great healing has come to this woman as she stood up to an abuser and saw him held accountable, perhaps unlike the probable abusers of her past who likely would have had their role in her now living such a marginal life. Since this scandal broke, her courage has inspired sex workers in Brazil and El Salvador to come out and speak up in past US related military incidents.
For those in committed partnerships, Edwards and each Secret Service man and their partners have been catapulted into one treacherous decent unto themselves. May the Greek, Roman and other legendary myths soothe their aching souls. They are in good, earnest company where such arduous tests of initiation are inevitable.
The choice to marry brings the hope for everlasting love. But what we are not educated on as a mass, is the serious initiation rite it is. The choice to be in positions of political power is no less rigorous.
Any initiation is an epic endeavor. It promises tests of faith and strength. It promises a confrontation with all that is deemed undesirable, repugnant and inadmissible.
According to Thomas Moore in Dark Nights of the Soul, "The presence of a third in a triangle represents the soul." The macho, cool facade is defenseless against the deepest longings from within that this "third" represents. The soul longs for itself. In order to dialogue with the soul's longing, the inner life must be engaged. Otherwise if it is not, the messiness of the triangle will be absolutely necessary as it will create the uncomfortable tension of a soul striving to birth itself to its next heroic expression.
Thank you guys and your implicated partners, children and family members, for the mirrors you represent to all of us. May your descent be paved with earnest guides and relentless angels as you brave the dark, choppy waters ahead. May you come through this initiation with the dignity promised to any hero courageous enough to dive this deeply and accept such a daunting and formidable mission.
To follow up with two other writers who have elaborated on this theme, please go to:
Matthis Chiroux: Secret Service Sex Scandal Not an Isolated Incident
Agapi Stassinopoulos: My One And Only: A Movie That Teaches Women How To Overcome Betrayal
** If you would like to quote any of the above, please respect my copyright and reference Cyntha Gonzalez.