INTIMACY is being seen, known, loved, understood and cherished for the person we truly are.
It’s that place in our relationships where both our laughter and tears, triumphs and tragedies are freely expressed and respected.
It’s also the place where our differences and challenges need to be freely expressed, addressed and respected.
INTIMACY is often misunderstood as requiring total acceptance and validation from our loved ones. Ironically INTIMACY develops via conflict resolution, self-validation and our ability to maintain a clear sense of self if an anxiety driven partner pressures us for conformity.
There are often inconvenient times I have to address and confess to some of my own people pleasing behaviour. It’s an old childhood survival instinct that sometimes automatically kicks in when I’m communicating with males in general, but specifically with Mr. Delicious (my third husband). If I stay in denial it can become unbearable for me and starts to weigh heavily on my heart. I notice I become fearful that if I really own up to how I feel about a situation that might be upsetting me, he will think lesser of me. The truth is I start feeling lesser of myself because I can’t over ride my truthful emotions and make myself continue to pretend all is okay.
In childhood I learned in order to be accepted, validated and not abandoned by males, I had to be a compliant female. If I’m too much emotional work he will punish me.
I eventually get enraged by this out-dated childhood belief that I can still occasionally project onto males in my adult life. Its usually when I’m tired or overwhelmed and don’t have the fuel to take emotional responsibility for my stuff.
So sometimes I erupt, I yell and eventually cry shaking, as my heart has to find the courage to draw a deep line in the sand.
When I have had enough of my past emotional sewerage polluting my present relationships it gets messy and loud. It’s feels like a huge and sudden torrential emotional storm erupts within me without much warning.
Emotional storms are often heartfelt INTIMACY in action.
Sometimes Mother Nature in her wisdom decides that all the past rotting emotional rubbish, dust, dead leaves and blocked gutters in our heart all have to be cleared out at once.
I have been fearful all my life to admit to another that I’m not coping or can’t take anymore.
I was programmed to believe as the emotional “scapegoat” in my biological tribe, that it was my job to just put up and shut up. And …. that I should just be grateful anybody even wanted me around.
I often go mute in awe at the power of the thunder in my heart after an emotional storm. I can be found immobilized in silence after an outburst, in shock at the all the emotion I have bottled and now released from my heart.
Mr. D. doesn’t leave, but has remained with me throughout every storm over our past 11 years together. That also unsettles me too, all men in my past have backed away, not stepped up when I become emotionally challenging.
He knows the INTIMATE language my tired heart needs to hear after I hit overwhelm using words like …
“It’s okay, now I know, I’m so glad you said all that, it needed to be said, I’m on your side.”
I’ve never known this depth of INTIMACY before I met him over a decade ago. The deeper we grow together the more I’m able to confess more of my truth to him. It’s sacred and I’m grateful to not be too afraid to admit I’m at my limit and to know I don’t have to compromise my self respect by people pleasing anymore.
So as we review this often misunderstood word INTIMACY, we also need to review our self-respect levels too.
If we’re not prepared to INTIMATELY back ourselves, to stand up and speak up for our hearts truth even when it might mean disapproval from others, we won’t experience lasting INTIMACY through good and hard emotional times.
Let’s remember that people pleasing erodes our self-respect and our quality of INTIMACY in our relationships over time.
And that INTIMACY requires from us more than romance, more than affection and more than words of devotion, our dedication to rigorous self honesty and self respect. This is vital so we don’t lose who we are whilst letting our heart be known?
May our hearts be known, loved and cherished just a little more today, especially by ourselves.
Lotsa love Cynthia xxx
© Copyright Cynthia J. Morton Emotional Fitness™