After yesterday’s post, I was asked to clarify what I mean by intimacy. I’m going to begin by simply posting the definition from Random House Kernerman Webster’s College dictionary:
in•ti•mate1 (ˈɪn tə mɪt)
1. associated in close personal relations: an intimate friend.
2. characterized by or involving warm friendship or a familiar association or feeling: an intimate greeting.
3. private; closely personal: one’s intimate affairs.
4. characterized by or suggesting privacy or intimacy; cozy: an intimate café.
5. (of an association, knowledge, understanding, etc.) arising from close personal connection or familiar experience.
6. engaging in or characterized by sexual relations.
7. (of apparel) worn next to the skin.
8. showing a close union or combination of particles or elements: an intimate mixture.
9. inmost; personal: intimate secrets.
10. of, pertaining to, or characteristic of the inmost or essential nature: the intimate structure of an organism.
11. an intimate friend or associate.
As I briefly explained to my friend, my struggles are on several levels, probably beginning with the first definition of “intimate”. For whatever reason, issues from my past, ancestral issues, early childhood development or something else, I struggle to develop close, open bonds with other people. In some ways, it probably relates to times when my trust was betrayed, but in others, it was something that was missing in my upbringing. But whatever the cause, I trust that, in this lifetime, it is for me to figure it out and work through it.
I may not actually find the root of the problem, and that will be fine, so long as I find a way past the blockage to where I can be completely open with other individuals, allowing them to see the real me without benefit of any of the walls I’ve erected over the years.
One or two times during this lifetime, I’ve allowed someone to get close enough to me, to know me so well that they could finish my sentences, and I, theirs’. At the moment, the only person in my life who is that close to me is my daughter, Heather. I have reached a place in my life where I realize that is not enough, and that my daughter has a life of her own to live, and friends of her own to have this closeness with. Essentially, I need to get out and make my own friends of this nature.
I know that part of my block is deeply rooted in my own trust issues. I have put far too much importance on the times my trust has been betrayed, and far too little into the lessons I learned from the experience. Now it’s time for me to put things in perspective and allow myself to grow.
I also find it difficult to engage in the intimacy of physical touch. I’ve learned to offer loving, sincere hugs, but am still reticent to offer them unless I’m reasonably sure the intended recipient is receptive. My ultimate goal is to offer them regardless of how they might be received or even rejected.
I also find that during my lessons in healing, I am having to put more effort into healing touch, and as a result, I’m intentionally choosing that route because it is more difficult for me. Talking, testing with the pendulum, visualizing, all come fairly easily to me so I need to stretch my kinesthetic abilities which are still in their infancy. They will probably never be at the level of some of my classmates, and that’s ok as I have other gifts they currently don’t, but I would like to develop them as far as possible.
Finally, and the most difficult for me to discuss, is my intimacy issues with regard to a romantic partner. For most of my life, and I have no idea where it comes from right now, I have associated sexual intimacy with at the very least, the suggestion of abuse. It might be bondage or humiliation or subordination. But regardless, I know in my heart that it isn’t right. As I become more conscious of how distorted my concept of physical intimacy is, and how far removed it is from true romantic intimacy, I am faced with a broken bridge which cannot be crossed until it is repaired.
I know I’m changing, evolving, because dreams I used to have depicting my distorted viewpoints or betrayals have ceased. My heart and my mind are seeking to bridge the gaps, heal the hurts and take only the lessons away, but, like an onion, there are many layers which brought me to where I am today.
My goal, right now, is to slowly heal and remove those layers until, finally, I reach what I want the most: an open heart, able to easily give and receive intimacy on any and all levels available.
I hope this will not be perceived as over sharing. I try, in this blog, to speak directly and, when asked, to address a subject as openly and honestly as possible. As always, all comments, suggestions and personal experiences are welcome.
My gratitudes today are:
1. I am grateful for friends who encourage me to step outside of my comfort zone.
2. I am grateful for being able to process and release a lot of the layers under which I have been hiding.
3. I am grateful for the strength to step outside of my comfort zone more and more.
4. I am grateful for the words which come to me when I need them.
5. I am grateful for the levels of intimacy I have been able to achieve so far as they give me hope for further development as I travel my path.
Love and light