February 9, 2012
Today I ran across a great blog post regarding Intimacy, or “showing your soul to another.”
I have intimacy issues, but I didn’t even realize it until a few years ago. I believe that most people do, because the way our society raises children is deeply, fundamentally wrong. When children attempt to show their souls to adults, adults generally react in one of the following ways:
1. “You shouldn’t feel like that/say that.” (Rejection)
2. “Don’t be weak.” (Protection)
3. “You don’t feel like that, you’re fine.” (Denial)
(Sure, they’re all pretty much the same, but you get my drift).
So, we stop being intimate, and we live our lives at a very shallow and unfulfilling level of interaction.
“Hey, I’m fine! How are you, fine? Great! Yeah, yesterday I did xxx, tomorrow I’m doing xxx, and god, I hate it when xxx does xxx. I’m so busy/stressed/tired, you know, so much going on! Ok love you talk to you soon bye!”
That level is safe and easy. But it sucks and it’s numbing. The shell that protects us, paradoxically, also keeps out the things that make life worth living. Ie, seeing and sharing souls.
I recently received a daily Gaping Void email by Hugh MacLeod with the subject : Has your soul been seen lately? Synchronistically, the topic was intimacy. What followed was a beautiful way to end my piece:
“Intimacy isn’t strictly about romantic relationships, or even relations with family–sometimes it happens quickly, and often times in ways we hardly notice. I’m talking about that moment when someone allows the world to see what’s inside…what they are really about. It’s about seeing someone for who and what they are and that the glimpse was offered either voluntarily or without the person’s knowledge. This is an incredible moment where our existence suddenly makes sense and all comes together in a singular place. For those of you who have experienced this, it’s something that never gets lost in memory or time. It’s like a little mirror we take out every now and then to remember a time when something so complex became so inconceivably simple. It’s pretty incredible.”
For me, this is the essence of what intimacy is really all about. Dare to be vulnerable, dare to be seen.
Do you allow your soul to be seen? How can you express yourself a little more authentically today?
And do you really see other’s souls when they attempt to show them to you, without trying to fix/change/judge them, or are you afraid to look, afraid to feel their pain, afraid you won’t know what to do?
I think we could all do with a little more intimacy practice. It’s what makes life worth living.