Intimacy. Yours Forever.Jul 12, 2022
I wanted it. I craved it. I was so jealous watching others who appeared as if they had it, only to find that when few years later they would engage in a bitter divorce, I would feel a secret satisfaction that I am not the only looser.
I chased after it, as if it were a race. The first one to the goal wins. Winning the intimacy prize. I engaged in different relationships, many of them dysfunctional, some dangerously abusive. I ignored all the red flags, if only they would show something that resembled intimacy. Maybe they would listen to my story, maybe give me some attention, say a kind word, offer a gift, or touch me with affection. I was like a drowning woman seeking air. Anything. Anything is better than nothing.
I was described as a happy baby. Plump and always smiling, with bright, curly hair, I was the only planned child for my parents. I remember being dotted on, hugged, kissed and celebrated. I delighted in my body, connected easily and naturally, and had no concept of being wrong or broken. I craved and enjoyed physical contact, attention, affection, and play. The intimacy of being seen, safe, and accepted.
Fast forward a few years, and a thick layer of conditioning, judgments, and traumatic experiences of being punished, rejected, and ostracized made me grow weary. While I bought into the messages fed to me that made me hate myself, I still craved deeply the return to the ease of being known, and being safe in that.
After many failed relationships, culminating in a failed marriage, I understood something. Intimacy is not something anyone can give me, while I continue hating myself, and conform to the idea of what I think they think I should be.
Intimacy starts with myself. It requires of me to show up with honesty, with truth, and with vulnerability. It requires for me to offer myself the love, and commitment I want to ask of another.
Before I stand naked in front of someone else, I must stand in front of myself and declare: this is who I am. I must have the courage to see who that is. And accept her with arms open, with honor, with devotion even, and with love. And with commitment.
So few of us ever consider that the roots of true intimacy grow from self-acceptance. From allowing that we are OK, as we are. That it is not worthy to playact, and uphold that fake façade of what we think is acceptable, for the cheap facsimile of Hollywood style intimacy. Fuck that.
So I went all out. Hellbent on not faking it. On speaking only truth, even if that meant saying nothing at all. On showing only truth, even if it meant I had meltdowns, and my skin was crawling, and I wanted to run. I had to trust that I won't die if I am rejected. I had to eat and digest the sickening meal of vulnerability that made me want to not ever face the world again. But I did it. The stakes were high. I would settle for nothing else. It was a Winner Takes It All kind of game.
The old life of trying to not be hurt looked like a life of unlimited freedom. Untethered, not committed to anyone or anything, pursuing my pleasure, and my interests, I reveled in the freedom of non-attachment. Of not being burdened with humanity of another. Of not risking being seen and, you know, rejected.
Until I was faced with a price. The ocean of sadness born of such loneliness that it almost broke me. And then I realized that loneliness is forever. One of many states of being that is as part of being human as is anger, joy, or ecstasy.
Once I accepted loneliness, I stopped running. I chose love over freedom, and paradoxically in choosing love, I gained more freedom that I imagined. A freedom of choice, and a freedom to be me without disclaimers, or apology. Because, you know, loneliness is not the end of the world. It gave me courage to put it all on the line.
In surrendering to myself, my heart opened to love another. To accept him as he is, in his human messiness. Now there is truth between us. There is trust. There is vulnerability. There is love, and there is commitment. And that is intimacy.
The path to epic love, and true intimacy starts with you my love. Take is slow. Consider it. Don't take my word for it, but try it on. Withhold a judgment, celebrate your beauty, prioritize your pleasure, chuckle at your shortcoming, show compassion for your darkness.
And as you watch your intimacy with yourself deepen, as the richness of connection heals your wounds, look outside and connect from the place of self honor. Call in all of those who are ready to stand in your light and not burn.
If you want to know how it is done, come to Return To Self. Free four weeks embodiment class for women, and learn how to fall in love with yourself and recapture the lost connection.
You can also join a waitlist for an epic group class coming this fall Midlife Unveiled A pleasure filled journey out of trauma, and conditioned beliefs about aging, into life of unapologetic creativity, sensuality, and freedom.