Traditionally, we have held that intimacy is only an experience between two people, of giving and receiving of touch, of loving words and sentiments and seeing deeply into another's being. Indeed, this is absolutely exquisite! Yet, we spend much of our lives in search of that person or people who can give us that experience. The great irony and the great redemption is that the sweetness that we identify as the experience one has in a loving relationship is completely available in every moment.
To the extent that we allow ourselves to be seen is to the extent that we feel intimacy. Within our quest for intimate relationship, we tell ourselves that we first need to feel safe. We want to see if the person we have chosen as our potential intimacy partner meets our requirements for safety. We gradually reveal aspects of our lives and ourselves in which we feel vulnerable, to see how they react. If they are compassionate, understanding, and supportive, then we continue the interview. If not, we may tell ourselves that they rejected us, while they may just have been experiencing and expressing their own discomfort with the information that we shared.
To the degree that the interviewee expresses comfort, acceptance, and compassion with us is to the extant that we relax in their presence, and thereby feel intimacy. At these times, we give ourselves permission to relax with the aspects of our lives that we have been uncomfortable with. This is very provocative, as this person becomes a safe person with whom we can relax. We trust them, to the extent that they pass our tests.
But what do we mean when we say that we trust someone? I offer that most of the time we mean that they have a track record of behavior that meets our definition of trustworthy. As long as they continue to behave within our definition, will we trust them.
The catch here is that when we look for a person to behave as they have, we judge their present behavior in comparison to the past. When we have expectations on other's behavior we're sure to be disappointed! There’s no trusting another person, just degrees of comfort we have with ourselves in their presence. Take the trust expectation off of them and recognize what aspect of yourself you are uncomfortable with.
I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself.
Relax into the Vulnerable Areas
This process is the very same process that we engage in as we deepen our self-awareness. We recognize those vulnerable areas and eventually relax into them. The more relaxed we are with our inner world, the more relaxed we are with other people and the more intimacy and love we experience, with them and all Life.
In the end, it's all an internal job. As we relax into ourselves, we have less to hide, thereby reducing our desire to find someone else to show us compassion. In other words, we stop seeking permission to reveal ourselves through their compassion, and become more compassionate with ourselves.
When there is no longer hiding, and one's inner world is not hidden from the outer world, one experiences intimacy in every moment. Call it freedom. The freedom to be exactly who you are, at every level of your being. A great spiritual teacher of mine Swami Muktananda said, "when every thought, word, and action are aligned does one experience true freedom."
Recently, my son Elijah (precocious as he is) said, "isn’t intimacy in-to-me-I-see?” Haazzaa!!!! Out of the mouth of babes! OK, he's 18 years old and as tall as me. But ya know, he'll always be...
Deafened by the voice of desire