The tao of intimacy

February 23, 2012

Lifestyle, Love, Philosophical, Wisdom

Intimacy is not a meeting of the minds. It occurs between hearts, and it opens us to a whole other world, one where the intellect takes a siesta.

by Scott Kalechstein Grace — 

Intimacy. Connection. Getting close. We are made for it. Yet many of us push it away, guard against it, and treat it as a threat. Or, we are so hungry for it that when we reach for intimacy with another, we cling and grab, and it slips through our fingers like a wet bar of soap.

Why do we equate intimacy with sex? There are plenty of people who are sexual companions, but are not experiencing intimacy. Companionship does not equal connection. And rubbing body parts together does not equal intimacy. Egos might hook up and become allies for a time, but they ultimately remain in separate states. Egos cannot love and be loved. Egos cannot transcend separation, which is the very cause of loneliness. For that we must move past ego.

Intimacy is not a meeting of the minds. It occurs between hearts, and it opens us to a whole other world, one where the intellect takes a siesta. This is heavenly. Then, we crash. Our romantic expectations put stars in our eyes, and we get attached to the yummy other person as creator of our experience. We forget that he or she is just another messy mortal, and that getting out of the confines of the ego mind and opening our hearts was the cause of our grand feelings.

Intimacy, like all of life’s goodies, is an inside job, arising from a state of consciousness, not another person. Our work is to become open, to get willing and to stop isolating. Only a willingness to be open can draw in the people we play and partner with.

When we believe that another person is the source of our intimacy, fear of loss becomes the driver of our behavior, and then comes the clinging. But without fear in charge, intimacy can happen without attachment. Instead, sweet and peaceful bonding can occur, with a refreshing absence of static cling.

Intimacy begins at home, inside yourself. Before reaching out, reach in. Compassionately connect with your emotions, hopes, fears, loneliness, desires and everything that is present for you. Extend permission and acceptance toward all of your feelings, really making room for the entire spectrum of your humanness.

From that foundation, there is a connection to a higher power, a higher love. Most folks are busy making themselves wrong for their humanness. Then they try to connect to God and get filled, without ever challenging the mistaken belief that they are damaged goods. That causes us to be disembodied, disassociated.

If you think that God is perfect and you are chopped liver, you are creating a split that does not exist. It is through accepting and even delighting in our human vulnerability that we can come to God as extensions of His/Her love. Reject yourself and you reject God. Love yourself, warts and all, and you are one with God.

The hard truth: Connection with a lover cannot fulfill you or cause you to love yourself. If you do not come to a lover already fulfilled with higher love and self-love, you will unconsciously siphon energy from the other person’s tank. That person will eventually feel drained; but no worries, you will also be drained.

The emotional and physical connections are mutual, but as “unconsciously” consenting adults. This is what happens with some couples. In fact, many mistakenly call it falling in love, or being in love. It is not love, but co-dependency throwing a very temporary party — a honeymoon that will inevitably crash.

The liberating truth: Wherever you are on the journey, from being single and looking for a partner, to up to your ears in draining and being drained, you can begin to love and fulfill yourself. Turn yourself on. Get so connected to the Divine that when you find intimacy with another person, it will seem like there are three of you, and the relationship will become an even more fulfilling one.

What I am saying is that there exists the absolute necessity to deeply enjoy the company you keep with yourself and to love yourself as fully and completely as you want to be loved — from your amazing head to your adorable toes. I am also saying that there exists the necessity of hitting the Source daily, drinking the Divine and awakening to a higher love. Bring a higher love to your human intimacy, and let it overflow onto another. When you do that, you tend to attract and be attracted to people who have awakened to the higher love within themselves. Two waterfalls make for a lot of joyous spilling over.

The waters of intimacy are so rich and deep that you can drown in them. You can heal in them. Intimacy is as simple as “in-to-me-see,” letting people see into you. “In-to-me-see” as a way of life shatters the ego’s survival strategy, which is to keep you safe by hiding parts of yourself — protecting, defending, pretending. The ego would like to reserve intimacy for one special soul mate, and keep you hidden behind a facade from the rest of humanity. That does not work. Intimacy has got to be a way of life, across the board. At a certain point, opening your heart unconditionally becomes more important than sharing intimacy with one special person. Paradoxically, that is when a soul mate partner can enter, and real love becomes possible.

Intimacy heals by making the unconscious conscious. Like any good colonic will do, it flushes up and out the two major core issues/fears in a relationship: fear of abandonment/rejection and fear of entrapment/commitment. Both are components of the fear of loss: fear of losing love and self. These fears surface in all intimate relationships and need to be addressed and healed. They cause the negative behaviors of clinging, controlling, distancing, protecting, aggression and the extremes of fierce independence and mushy co-dependence. Go beyond your intimacy comfort zone and fears will arise. But do not be afraid of fear.

Knowledge is power. Knowing your fears and how they operate behind the scenes will help you get beyond them. Perhaps no human being is completely free of these fears, but it is possible to get to a place where they seldom run the show, and if they do, you have the tools and support to work through them.

Intimacy shines light upon the scary monsters hiding in the shadows so that you can hug them. We are here to heal our fears with our love. Intimacy is a way of life. It is safe to get close. It is safe to become known. You are well worth getting to know. And it will be a joy to get to know you.

 

Scott Kalechstein Grace serves the transition from fear to love, suffering to joy and from gravity to levity, through singing, speaking, writing and leading workshops. He is the author of Teach Me How To Love. www.scottsongs.com.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 30, Number 4, Aug/Sept 2011.

 

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