“Intimacy is the most meaningful and courageous of all human experiences.” Thomas Patrick Malone MD – The Art of Intimacy.
Intimacy is derived from the Latin Intima meaning “inner” or “innermost”. Inside each of us lies our intima; the deepest core of our person. Intima is that which allows a profound connection to ourselvesand to others. It is the inside being, the real you, the “you” that only you can know.
It is the most vulnerable part of ourselves, our most profound feelings, enduring motivations, sense of right and wrong and most embedded convictions about truth and beauty.
What Intimacy is Not
Sex and romance are often referred to as intimacy or intimate relations. But they can be quite the opposite as we take on a role, try to please the other and live in the fantasy – often with emotional disconnection for fear of its impermanence “the honeymoon stage”.
Intimacy is not the same as closeness. Many relationships attain a level of closeness. People can share the same home, bed or even children. They can be together for years and experience closeness but have an intense fear or a distinct block to revealing their deepest, innermost fears, dreams, thoughts and feelings – their real selves for fear that they are unlovable, not good enough or they simply cannot trust that they will be safe enough to expose that part of themselves.
Closeness teaches us about the other person, when we have true intimacy, we learn about ourselves. When I am close, I know who you are. When I am intimate I know who I am.
Without the courage to experience true intimacy, we never truly experience our full capacity to love or be loved for exactly who we are and be at ease in our relationship. We can go on for years and never feel truly fulfilled.
This emotion; this vulnerability and connection is not only between lovers, it’s between friends and even our relationship with our families. In a disposable society where people can walk away from anyone and anything, it is because there is no intimacy. We can simply disconnect because there was no real deep connection in the first place.
How vulnerable will you allow yourself to be? Your level of intimacy will determine the depth of your fulfillment.
Ask yourself… How_______ am I, or willing to be? 1 (lowest) – 10 (highest)
*If you scored below 8 in any one of these categories, you have room to grow to deepen your ability to be intimate.
How do you allow yourself to experience more intimacy?
Get a greater sense of self awareness. Heal yourself. To be able to love yourself unconditionally is the very first step. You have to learn to trust yourself. Work towards a deep level of self-acceptance, profound self worth and confidence; not from a place of ego but from a place of true inner connection. Remember that all of our failures are just feedback. Forgive yourself. If you are in a relationship and you are seeking a greater level of connection, stop focussing on the other person and be courageous – begin with yourself.