Intimacy could be described as seeing and meeting ourselves and others – and being seen and met – as much as possible in all our colours. It asks for us to show up without masks, to reveal who we really are, to be real, authentic and honest, and to be willing to see others as they are.
Intimacy asks us to allow our vulnerability – to drop some of the defences that prevent us from being hurt, but which 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 with open-hearted courage.
Humans are made for connection. It is an essential part of receiving the nourishment we need to flourish in the world. In intimacy we 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 we 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.
By bringing kind awareness to our barriers to intimacy, we can open to experiencing it more fully, and find deeper fulfilment in our relationship with ourselves and others in everyday life.