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Lately, I’ve been learning a lot about what intimacy is—and what it isn’t.
After years of digging in and doing really hard work, I have peeled—layer by layer. Old, unfulfilling patterns have been burned gently away by the flames of my determination—and a new way of being simmers like the sunrise.
Wholeness awaits me now.
It has been exhausting, empowering, seemingly impossible at times, delicious, and beautiful.
So many tears were shed. So many nights spent up late, wondering if I’d ever find love, if I’d ever have someone to spend my life with—or if I’d better get used to the bittersweetness of being alone.
It has felt like climbing a mountain without knowing where the top is.
My knees may be skinned and there’s dirt under my fingernails, but as the journey continues, I feel more and more ready to share myself. I begin to trust that the path before me isn’t just meaningless tangles—it’s leading somewhere exciting.
For I have always longed for a true closeness, an intimacy that is soul-deep and beyond, that reaches out and reverberates with passion, with truth, with God.
I have always longed to let myself be loved.
And it’s scary.
Precisely because I want it so badly.
For me, it’s so scary to be seen.
I fear rejection.
I fear saying the “wrong” thing—whatever that is.
I fear not being loved for who I am.
I fear looking weak.
I fear having my vulnerability used against me.
I fear being abandoned.
I fear not being good enough.
I fear being too afraid.
Yes, my mind is quite a playground for worries to run loose, like rambunctious kids at recess causing chaos and creating vivid diversions.
In a way, it also makes perfect sense—it’s the way our pasts can reveal themselves in the shadow, shapes of fears that leak into the present.
And yet, I keep showing up. Because when what we want is also tinged with remnants of what we fear, it creates an exciting tension.
An opportunity to heal.
And I think this is only possible when we have a partner we trust. Safety is so important. For me, after the traumas, disappointments, heartbreaks, and f*cked-up things I’ve experienced with men—it’s everything.
It softens the edges of my fear. It helps my body and nervous system begin to befriend relaxation and ease, after decades of vigilance.
And little by little, within that safety, I am letting myself be seen.
It’s not easy. But I’ve been letting myself be loved for quite some time now, by the hands and heart of a man who feels lucky to be with me. I feel lucky, too.
And so, I learn.
I lean in.
We both do.
In the fires of it all, in all the deaths that had to happen for me to get here.
I look into his eyes that glisten underneath the subtle, orange glow of the Christmas tree lights.
Music pours gently in the background.
We are bathed in the gentle thumping of our heartbeats against the rain.
We are enwrapped in one another.
It was a damp, chilly evening when we decided to give each other massages.
For me, it was decadent. It was a story scripted about stepping further into my femininity and learning to listen to the ancient wisdom of my body and heart.
Because I fully let go.
He kissed my feet and then rubbed them adoringly, anointing me with an oil that smelled like wood burning in the heart of winter and a wisdom that comes only when we get quiet enough to listen.
And it was this.
It was me, not doing anything at all.
It was him, giving.
And so, I let myself receive.
What a novel concept!
There was nothing I needed to say, to offer, to help with, to fix, to impress, to try, to do.
I felt loved, without doing anything at all.
I felt loved, just by being me.
I bloomed in this sweetness.
And more was revealed—a tenderness—a startling, beautiful, new, strong tenderness that has yearned to glisten through.
‘Cause I’ve been waiting a damn long time for the man who could truly handle me—in my flames, my sweetness, my wildness, my tears, softness, and the pulsating center of my truth.
What a delight it is to be in his presence now.
And he must have generously massaged my feet, then my neck and shoulders for a lush hour.
All he wanted was for me to feel comfortable, relaxed, at ease, and satisfied.
To me—this is a real man.
A brave man.
One who knows how to bow to the feet of the feminine.
One who feels enlivened by giving.
And I shall bow to him, too. And I shall give to him, too.
Because that’s what love is—serving one another.
Giving and receiving, in an infinite cycle.
And doing it all without losing ourselves, because it is naturally nourishing, life-giving, and sustainable.
I’ve never really experienced that before—for me, it’s mostly been giving, giving, giving, getting exhausted, and being with someone who could not return my love in the way I wished them to.
I hate that so many of us experience that.
But when two people who know how to give get together—the result is beautiful and rich.
And it smells like a deep growth.
The kind that you can track from inside the trunk of a great, big tree.
And so, we are growing together.
I soften, I deepen, I continue to root and rise—and he is there.
When I fear being too much, too emotional, too intense, too wise, he looks at me intently and says, “I’m not going anywhere.”
And he means it.
And he is there.
Continuous and steady, like our heartbeats. Like our breaths. Like the earth beneath our toes.
Something I can rely on.
And in this process, something bigger happens, something mysterious that feels hard to name…
Tears trickled from my eyes that night under the Christmas tree, as I looked into his.
We shared a knowing smile.
My heart felt at rest.
And it’s not that it was all sparkly and flawless, camera-perfect.
But it was what I wanted for so long.
And I could tell he had yearned for this, too.
It was real.
And through all the fires this life can bring—the death, the sorrow, the heartbreak—there is such sweetness to feast on, too.
There is love so big and deep it’s almost impossible to imagine.
There is love so pure it can soothe the wounds we thought would never heal.
And we all deserve to taste that beauty.
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