Intimacy… What Happened?
February 14, 2017
Hello Everyone, and a very Happy Valentine’s Day to all~
Today, I found myself pondering the question of intimacy. I come across one person after another in both my professional and personal life who is afraid to say what they really think, what they really feel. Even when they deeply care about someone, they are afraid to open up and reveal their true selves. And we can’t truly be intimate with someone else unless we can be our true selves. Does any of this sound like you?:
- I’m afraid of what they will think if I tell them how I really feel
- I’m afraid that they will think less of me if…
- I’m afraid that they won’t like me any more
- I’m afraid I’ll sound stupid
- I’m afraid they’ll leave
I could go on and on, but you get the basic idea. Where did all of this fear come from? Why are we, as a society, so afraid of what others think? Where does all of this insecurity comes from?
1. We are taught as children to pretend to be something we’re not.
Sadly, this is true for most adults in the US, and perhaps many other countries as well. Our parents believed that they had to put on a facade for the rest of the world, so they taught us to do the same. So many people, even well into adulthood, struggle to break out of this pattern – if they even realize they’re in it in the first place!
But, it IS possible to let go of this limiting belief. And, it’s easier than you might think.
2. Many of us have been mocked or otherwise made fun of for being authentic. Or, at some point we’ve “let our guard down” and said something authentic, only for the person hearing it to disappear from our lives.
Yes, there are many people who can act cruelly, and others who have haven’t intended any harm but when we are particularly vulnerable it can feel devastating. But, whenever someone behaves in such a way, they are reacting to their own fears! We usually can’t escape what we feel on the inside, though many people make an art form out of trying! But few of us take the time and manage to step back and view a situation from the other person’s point of view. How?
Ask questions. If someone has reacted to your being authentic in a negative way, or what YOU perceive to be negative, try not to react. Try instead to ask questions to learn what s/he actually meant by that comment. Be genuinely curious. Remember, even if you’re feeling hurt, chances are that s/he is feeling something also, which could be fear, hurt, or something else entirely. You don’t know if you don’t ask. Keep asking questions to clarify until you feel that you understand as best as possible, and then ask if you are accurate while outlining what you heard. Let him/her correct you if you’ve misunderstood. If you’re STILL feeling hurt, now is the time to tell him/her how you feel about what s/he said…
Remember that when we feel hurt, we often lash out at the injurious party. “YOU did ___, YOU said ___, (and the worst of all) YOU ALWAYS ____.” Sadly, that doesn’t solve anything, but almost always causes the person we’re talking with to go on the defensive. Now, what began as one comment that we felt hurt about into opening up many hurts on both sides.
Instead of responding this way, be genuine, but say it from the heart. “When you said ___, I felt ___ because of ___.” is a great formula to work with. It takes practice to stop the knee-jerk reactions, but this method of communication shows compassion for both the other person as well as ourselves. It helps us to form deeper, more meaningful relationships with our friends, family members, and romantic partners. Then and only then can true intimacy flourish.
3. Many of us aren’t comfortable in our own skin, so feel we’re unlovable.
This is the saddest issue of all, yet it’s become an epidemic! Do you truly love yourself for who you are? How many people do you know who do? A study in New Zealand recently showed that 95% of adults had poor self esteem, and my guess is that it’s about the same here in the U.S. That’s a sad number. And the old adage is true – before anyone else can love you, you have to love yourself!
Yes, that might seem like an insurmountable mountain. But, I’ve helped many people over the years to learn how to let go of limiting beliefs, let go of insecurities, and ultimately find self-love. Everyone has the ability to do this on their own, but it can seem scary without help. For more information on how I may be able to help you to find and love your true self, thereby improving your relationships with others, please contact me!
I look forward to hearing from you, and helping in any way I can.
Disclaimer: This is not a substitute for counseling or other psychological help. I am not a physician or mental health professional, nor am I in any way shape or form prescribing any treatment. Energy healing is a wonderful compliment to traditional therapy. If you have severe depression, trauma, or are considering suicide, please contact a qualified mental health professional.