How do you define intimacy?
I’m talking about the kind of intimacy that you find in any relationship. What is intimacy in your relationships to your lover, spouse, friend, children, or family?
The simple definition is closeness. But man, that is so vague!
The way that I would define intimacy is: A closeness and connection that is the result of someone being able to see the real you and you both have the permission to show up as your true selves and then exchange deep love, understanding and acceptance without judgement.
However there are 2 major sticking points to intimacy. Authenticity and self love.
“THE DEGREE OF INTIMACY THAT YOU CAN HAVE IS THE DEGREE TO WHICH YOU ARE AUTHENTIC AND ARE CAPABLE OF LOVING YOURSELF.” – MARY CRIMMINS
If you are not being your true self, you never give people the opportunity to love/support the real you. And that level of vulnerability and transparency is necessary for real intimacy to take place. Otherwise, all the love and support you have with someone is built upon a false version of yourself. They cannot connect with your soul.
True intimacy cannot be present with a shadow version of yourself. Or even an incomplete version.
My best friend Traci and I have unbelievable intimacy. That girl knows literally everything about my life. I never have to think about how I am showing up for her and hoping she accepts me. She has seen me at my absolute best and my absolute worst. I can call her at 1am crying and she picks up the phone and listens. I can get a huge promotion and she is there with a martini to celebrate. There is no pretense, no pleasing, no trying, no proving, no showing. We simply show up as who we are with each other in each moment. It’s a no judgement zone, and neither of us have to “try.” We are our true selves and offer love and acceptance to each other. That is intimacy, but it requires we both show up as ourselves for it to work.
When we don’t let ourselves be seen, we cannot fully connect. There is always a barrier.
And my dears, the 2nd sticking point to true intimacy is our capacity for self love.
“YOUR CAPACITY TO LOVE YOURSELF ALSO INFLUENCES HOW MUCH YOU LET YOURSELF BE LOVED BY OTHERS.” – ROBERT HOLDEN
In order that we allow the flow and exchange of love to exist with someone else, we must know what it looks like to love ourselves.
“TO FIND THE BELOVED, YOU MUST BECOME THE BELOVED.” -RUMI
Self love is a beautiful journey back to seeing ourselves the way God sees us. Perfect, beautiful and whole. Self love is returning to our awareness of our soul’s loveliness and of our belonging. It’s coming back to our wholeness. When you know your own true loveliness, when you allow self love and compassion to flow freely through you then you are open to offering that to others.
“I DON’T TRUST PEOPLE WHO DON’T LOVE THEMSELVES AND TELL ME, ‘I LOVE YOU’.” MAYA ANGELOU
Self love is the gateway to intimacy. It offers self compassion, self forgiveness, and self trust as a beautiful gift to the other person. You are free to offer love to that person in the way that you offer it to yourself. It is full and not withholding. It is not judgmental.
You cannot love yourself or love others if you aren’t allowing yourself to be YOU. When you show up to the table as you, the experience of intimacy can be embraced. With this love, that intimacy allows for a closeness that warms even the darkest days and invites each other to reveal more of who they are to each other. There is always more to see and experience with intimacy. There is always more love and acceptance. This intimacy is possible in friendship, family relationships and with a romantic partner.
We are wired for intimacy in our relationships. It’s the gift of our soul’s to each other. To be truly understood and loved. A place where we feel deep belonging.