Building relationships based on true intimacy and love
Building relationships based on true intimacy and love
Ask someone what ‘intimacy’ means to them and people commonly would say it has something to do with a sexual relationship. Yet, when we believe intimacy is only available to us when we are naked and having sex or making love, we are left believing all other relationships (friends, family, colleagues, neighbours) are non-intimate.
In fact, when we restrict our understanding of the true meaning of intimacy in this way, we are actually diminishing the value of every other relationship we have in our lives. What if intimacy is so deep and wide and universal that we have it available to us in every single relationship we experience – including (and firstly) through self-connection?
So, what is intimacy? It is a little confusing because as the song goes, ‘love is all around’; it is not relegated to one thing (having sex) or reduced to occurring with just one special person, such as in a partnership, marriage or love affair. When we think it is, we stop knowing, allowing and enjoying the fact that love and intimacy are a universal blueprint on offer everywhere with everyone, including ourselves. Coming back to understanding intimacy as an expression of openness and transparency is a journey into the simplicity of the love we all are underneath the crusty façade.
Whenever we let ourselves be ‘naked’ with others, i.e. unmasked, unscripted, and unprotected, we surrender to something we long for: the openness, transparency and true connection that are intimacy’s building blocks.
We all have our own experiences of having had intimate moments in our supposedly non-intimate – that is, non-sexual – relationships. Moments where our eyes meet and a deep, easy, free and real connection is made that leaves us feeling so very light, expanded, seen and ‘known’: ‘at one’ with the other person. The times when something is shared, even with a stranger, that is deeply, wonderfully intimate such as seeing something amazing in nature, a conversation with a colleague, playing with a grandchild, laughing with a friend, holding a patient’s hand, that are all occasions where we are ‘touched’.
We recognise it, we feel it; it is sensed in our every cell, yet we have learnt to avoid naming such moments as being intimate or ‘made of love’.
But what if there is a step before focussing on our levels of intimacy with others?
Often it is easier to be intimate with someone we don’t know than it is to share ourselves with the very people we live our lives with and ‘love’. We hold such strong pictures around intimacy being sexual that it distracts us from the fact that perhaps we occasionally let our partner or others catch a glimpse of who we are inside, but then the walls come up again, the windows and doors close and the transparency of allowing ourselves to be seen, known and loved as we are, is cloaked.
Our triggers for ‘shutting up shop’ are often layers from past experiences that feed a fear of rejection, being misunderstood, judged or ignored. We can go into a game of ‘you go first …’ with our partners and other people as a way of controlling the situation in order to be ‘safe’ first and potentially intimate second. All the while we are focussed on doing this, we don’t notice that there are actually all sorts of outside pressures on us, feeding us the story: the constant pictures, that this is the way to be intimate with others.
But what if we are actually sabotaging the very thing we are seeking by these behaviours; that is, blocking the connection, openness and transparency of intimacy by choosing to play safe instead? And, do we know that in order for us to receive love and acceptance, we have to be open to it in the first place, which means learning to be intimate – that is open, loving and transparent – with ourselves first?
It may be hard to accept, but all women and men have a beautiful, delicate, tender spark naturally living inside them in their essence, that no experience of rejection, lack of self-worth or self-doubt can ever extinguish. Intimacy starts within us – opening the doors and windows, pulling back the blinds and taking down the fences to allow ourselves to be seen unmasked, unprotected and undefended… by ourselves and all others.
Equally it is allowing the love around us to be received – to let it in with open arms devoid of the fear that it might be taken away, that it’s a trick, or that we don’t really deserve it. We cannot receive what we do not perceive ourselves to be worthy of and the reality is that there is nothing in the external world that will satisfy our innate thirst to feel full and complete on the inside.
Intimacy is like breathing where we let ourselves out and we let others in – but how much do we put conditions around this by putting a limit or a hold on the depth of our breath, controlling how much of ourselves we let out and who (and how much of them) we let in, instead of breathing deeply, richly and fully?
Many people tell themselves that they can’t feel anything beyond the basics and/or dismiss the self-connection notion as being irrelevant, preferring instead to use their mind as their compass, however self-connection can be as simple as noticing our breath as we breathe in and out, the way our body feels at any moment, how we sound, and the way we move. All the above are ways we begin to connect to the quality of our being from an inner observance rather than an outer checklist. As self-connection grows, we start to discover ourselves free of the labels and conditions of the external world (age, sex, race, occupation, status, roles and so on) and we start to walk hand in hand with vulnerability, sensitivity, openness and transparency, which are all valuable steps in re-discovering true intimacy.
It can be a roller coaster ride as there is so much to realise about ourselves once we start to explore, and at times this can be challenging. At the crossroads we can either return to living in Fort Knox – or we can keep going inward (in-to-me-see) with a willingness and honesty to step across boundary lines that have been in place for eons as a form of security blanket.
The real robbery is what gets stolen when we believe that keeping our inner riches locked away is the safest way of protecting them, when the actual richness on offer in letting the ‘safe’ doors swing open is that we free ourselves up to enjoy the treasures within, and to express outwardly with others the love we are, and always have been, inside. Now that is something worth seriously reflecting on as intimacy is not in any way limited; it is something that continues to expand if we are prepared to keep deepening our relationship with ourselves and to carry that way of being into all our relationships. Which road can we feel is beckoning us forward?
To be intimate is to have an open body that is willing to receive love.Serge Benhayon Esoteric Teachings & Revelations Volume II, ed 1, p 110
It begins with how deep you let someone see you when they look into your eyes.
Then you can communicate with a whole body that is there willing to
understand, respect, love and honour another.
All else thereafter is just an extension of the intimacy you are already in.