Welcome! As I write this blog, it is two evenings after Valentine’s Day. It’s been a busy time for me, and a beautiful one. My day was lovely and nourishing. I hope that yours was equally so.
Tonight we will explore the art of intimacy and how to strengthen our capacities for it. It is a rich, deep, multi-layered subject, and one that we will look into in future postings as well.
What does it mean to be truly intimate with another, particularly a beloved. To me, it means that we are brave enough to share ourselves with our love with an open, receptive, compassionate and expressive heart. It means that we are present, vulnerable and dynamic in loving them. It means that we are willing to love them with our bodies, in whatever ways are appropriate for our relationship, to share our emotions honestly and courageously, and to be lovingly present in receiving them in all these ways. It means we commit to ourselves not to play games when we are with them, or hold part of ourselves back or pay attention only to their needs or only to our own, rather than to both. It means we are willing to be transformed by the power of love, to change and be made more true, more whole in ourselves, more real, more alive.
Being able to nurture this kind of intimacy is a process of personal and spiritual evolution. We cannot expect ourselves to be there immediately. We have to be loving and patient with ourselves, too, and we have to allow both of us to strengthen that “muscle” through working it.
When we have difficulties with intimacy, it is usually a trust issue of some sort. Our fear is triggered by sharing ourselves openly with another because of past pain we may have experienced. We may feel afraid, even subconsciously, that it may happen to us again, or that if our beloved really knew us, they wouldn’t love us anymore. Many of us have conscious and subconscious messages that we don’t deserve love, that we aren’t lovable or worthy of being loved deeply.
This belief is simply and unequivocally FALSE. No matter who we are, what we’ve done, what messages we’ve absorbed, EVERYONE DESERVES TO BE LOVED, EVERYONE IS LOVABLE. Some of us work very hard to be unlovable because that is what we believe about ourselves, but in Truth, everyone is inexpressibly deeply loved by the Holy Ones, and deserving of boundless love in life.
So, how do we work with trust issues? It starts with first of all recognizing that we want more truth and intimacy in our lives and relationships, and being willing to grow in order to create that. And then, being willing to keep reconstructing our sense of selves so they are more true, so that we can let go of the false messages we’ve adopted that tell us we are undeserving of love, or that love will fail us. (We addressed this issue in the last two posts.)
Oftentimes, we repeatedly choose romantic partners that play out these unhealthy messages that we have absorbed in our wounded sense of selves. So, in learning to cultivate healthy and genuine intimacy, we also need to make healthy choices. We need to choose a romantic partner from our higher, healthier, more true sense of self that emerges when we start bringing more consciousness to this issue, operating with more awareness, self-love and wisdom, and diffusing the power of our wounded egos. The stronger we get in this “reconstructed, higher sense of self” the healthier our choices will become.
If we have trouble trusting the people we love, it is first and foremost because we haven’t learned to trust ourselves. And, when we are not operating in healthy ways, rightly so. We keep making unhealthy choices for ourselves, or we keep pushing away and sabotaging love, and hurting ourselves – so why should we trust that we won’t keep doing that.
Trust can be developed. It is a “muscle,” too. We will develop a stronger foundation of trust in ourselves, and for others, by willingly bringing more consciousness to our choices, and making healthy ones for ourselves. The more we do it, the stronger we get, our healthier sense of self grows, and the more we can trust ourselves.
When we are able to trust ourselves, it is easier to feel comfortable being intimate because we are stronger in who we are. We know ourselves better, and we know that we are making healthier choices. We also know that if it turns out that love doesn’t last, we will be okay.
If we have had a history of betrayals in relationships, or things that haven’t work out, it is also natural to have some anxiety or fear about trying again. It is often harder to trust. If we develop a strong foundation in our higher sense of self, it will be easier to go forward and try again. To have love in our lives, we have to be willing to keep trying, to risk our hearts, to heal from our emotional bruises, learn from them and open to love again.
Every relationship teaches us something of value, even the most difficult. Look at what the “bruises” teach you, about yourself and about love, and go forward into love again – when you are healed sufficiently – with more wisdom and a stronger sense of self. Build your trust in self, and learn to trust others by allowing yourself to love wise, courageously and intimately. When we have learned to trust ourselves, our abilities to grow through it when we have been hurt, and to trust others through making healthier choices, then growing into ever-deepening levels of intimacy with your beloved becomes a natural part of our deep inborn desires to open and embrace love whole-heartedly.
Until next time, may Love shine forth its Grace bountifully unto you!