Intimacy could be described as seeing and meeting ourselves and others – and being seen and met – as much as possible in all our colours. We could say that intimacy asks a lot of us as human beings. It asks for us to show up without masks, to reveal who we really are, to be real, honest and authentic, and to be willing to see others as they are.
It asks us to vulnerable, to drop the defences that prevent us from being hurt, but that also prevent us from connecting deeply. It asks us to practice discernment and healthy personal boundaries. Intimacy asks us to be present with what is here and now, to step into the unknown; to drop our ideas and stories about how we and others should be, so that we can embrace and celebrate our glorious messy humanness. It asks for open-hearted courage.
Intimacy may ask a lot, yet what it gives us is of immeasurable value. Humans are made for connection and it is an essential part of receiving the nourishment we need so that we can flourish in the world. In intimacy we share and celebrate love and beauty, and explore what it means to be truly be alive as a human being. Intimacy the glue in our relationships that keeps them fresh and fulfilling, and gives us a deep and rich experience of life.
Intimacy is an experience of being, it not something we can get or do. This is perhaps one of the reasons why many of us can find it such tricky terrain. In a world where we are taught that we are not enough as we are, that we have to be perfect to be loved, and that we need to work hard to improve and fix ourselves and each other, it can be difficult to allow ourselves to simply be, where we can open to intimacy with ourselves and others.
Intimacy with others begins with intimacy with ourselves. To be able to connect deeply with others, we need to be connected with our feelings, and to befriend the parts of us that we may judge as bad or wrong. We need to be in touch with what’s happening inside us and what feels right for us from moment to moment, and to be willing to express this truth.
We could say that “what is intimacy?” is a question that is to be lived, rather being a question to which we can find one, static answer.
Empower Yourself supports you to live and explore this question in your own unique way, to bring kind attention to your barriers to intimacy, and to experience deeper fulfilment in your relationship with yourself and others in everyday life.