Intimacy is a beautiful thing.
But it seems that it is often an elusive experience while there is still fear around totally opening our hearts.
To experience the potential of divine union, we need to be willing to travel through and beyond the realms of vulnerability. Intimacy is not just about physical nakedness and an entwining of bodies in the bedroom, but the depths to which we merge in our lovemaking is dependent on the degree of intimacy that exists in our day-to-day relating.
The ego often behaves like an overanxious parent and wants to keep us safe. At other times, it is just the voice of the wounded child within us. It operates from a knowing based on past experiences and is rooted in fear.
If as children our innocence and human flaws were met with a withdrawing of love, then our ego will have developed an array of automatic reactions in an attempt to keep us safe and removed from the pain of not being loved unconditionally.
In romantic relationships, everything that is not love within us—the areas where we withhold love from ourselves through self-judgment and lack of self-worth—will come to the surface to be healed by the light of consciousness. Through making different choices when these old wounds and feelings that still reside within us are triggered, we dissolve the old and can live from a clearer, cleaner present.
So this morning, when my beloved and I found that we were upset with each other and not connected and feeling intimate because of a seemingly trivial thing, we applied the following three steps. We soon found our way back into each other’s arms while some tears of release fell, followed by the sweet return to intimacy and connection.
The First Step to return to intimacy is remembering that when we fall out of intimacy, because of something said or done in the moment, it is actually never about what has just happened but the interpretation made by our ego about what has happened.
Our part and responsibility for the current incident will be initially denied by the overprotective ego because it learnt that it is not okay to make mistakes, to be wrong. This is invariably because of past experiences of not being loved as a flawed and fallible human being. So the ego will try and make us right; “It’s not me, it must be the other ones fault,” it will insist.
The Second Step is deciding that we don’t need to be right. The ego sees being right as a form of self-protection in autonomy and self-containment but there is a profound adage that states “It is better to be close than it is to be right.” The quality of our lives is dependent on the quality and degree of intimacy with ourselves and our relationships, and if we want to be close to another, it is imperative for us to give up the need to be right.
The Third Step involves fear and acknowledging that to some degree it must be present for there to be a disconnection between myself and my beloved. So this morning I let go of the need to be right and stepped toward my lover and held her in my arms, because it was clear that we were not going to resolve anything through spoken words. We were both speaking from a place of the wounded child.
I found myself saying to her, “I am scared.”
I immediately felt her body relax and soften, and she replied, “I am scared too.” There was a clear shift in the energy, and we began to reconnect.
To begin with it felt rather raw and uncomfortable, because it was a vulnerable place to be. The ego, knowing its old strategy of contraction and protection, had been overridden by the consciousness of the new way of being, and we both noted that we physically felt this—but were immensely relieved to be close again. We were able to speak more softly and kindly to each other, and after a short while, the heavy feeling subsided.
The whole experience was like a mini-storm, and in the return of emotionally calm waters, we both saw how we had done well to navigate the storm reasonably skillfully.
It was all over in about 20 minutes, and we were gifted with more evidence that whatever old wounds come to the surface, we are able to heal them with these three simple steps. Our commitment to intimacy is far greater than our fear.
Our 20th century busy lives meant that we both had to go our separate ways. I went for a walk to let the last of the emotion settle, and, on returning home, I sent her a text message.
“I love you,” I said.
“I love you too,” came the swift reply.