Intimacy in our relationships is the one thing we all crave and want more than anything in this world. We all want to be seen, appreciated and loved for who we truly are… but what is intimacy truly? It is not something you get or give, it’s a way of being where you choose to let yourself radiate out and you allow others into your heart.
Many people confuse intimacy as an experience of emotional or physical closeness with another; a coming together of two people, often through touch, affection, sex, emotional or intellectual sharing.
It is much more than this.
It’s an exchange, requiring us to either let others in (let love in) and to share ourselves (let love out) with others equally. We want people to come closer to us, but in order to do that we have to take responsibility to let them in and that may involve the risk of perceiving that we are being hurt or rejected. However, we can only really be hurt when we choose to be less than the love that is available for us to connect to.
But what does it mean to let others in?
We let others in by allowing them to feel and see all of us; not only our good qualities, but our hurts, vulnerabilities, and our imperfections. What often stops us is:
- our fear of being hurt and our need for protection from these hurts
- if people see the not so good side of us, that they may reject us
- our vulnerabilities being used against us to hurt us.
- people seeing our true essence; our inherent beauty, tenderness and stillness.
To avoid the shame of being seen in our tenderness and vulnerability we hide behind the protective shields of the roles we play in our lives. These create a false self or identity that can provide us with seeming self-worth, a sense of belonging, acceptance, and recognition.
We can hold a sense of identity of ourselves as being a good mother, wife and hard worker and supportive colleague. When we relate to others from only these roles, we don’t ever get met, or meet others, or appreciate who we truly are, only what we can do for others. We cheat ourselves and others as we miss out on the intimacy of being our true selves.
Many of us suffer from low self-worth and if we don’t actually like or love ourselves, then the last thing we want is someone else to see that, because we fear rejection.
So depending on our previous hurts we actually measure how much we let certain people in or how much we share of ourselves, ending up with a whole bag of measured relationships. We attempt to control what people see about us by relating from a front or by being over-identified with what we do in our roles in life.
Although this feels safer we are really missing out on all the delicious connection and joy because we are not truly relating to others from our essence. A common example of this is when we have sexual intimacy without deep connection – the relationship becomes unsatisfying because there is no true connection. Ultimately we become dissatisfied and seek another experience to get intimacy in our lives.
Knowing your essence
This is one of our favourite talks. It goes to the root of so many issues and covers the essentials of knowing and connecting to your true self.
So how do we end this merry-go-round of seeking intimacy and actually building better relationships? To make true love and intimacy a foundation in all our relationships is a matter of choosing to connect to our inner most essence of love, and letting others in to see all of who we truly are. Although it may feel scary to make eye contact, have meaningful conversations, appreciate ourselves and others, and allow ourselves to be moved and feel tender, it is the beginning of letting love in and a start of true intimacy.
Why we don’t let love in
Everything you always wanted to know about love but didn’t ask! This is one of our favourite talks and we highly recommend it.