In my first article in this series on intimacy, I spoke about what is so scary about intimacy. Why are we so scared about being truly ‘known’? This is the million dollar question. True intimacy is about allowing yourself to be seen and to be known. It’s about coming out of hiding and revealing your true self in all its splendid vulnerability and humanity. It’s about loving who you are and knowing you are human. So what keeps us from ourselves? From really celebrating our birthright to intimate communion?
Not everyone shares the same ideas of the world
From the cradle to the grave you are socialised into conforming to a culturally acceptable idea of ‘being’ in society. You have learned very quickly what gained you the positive strokes and what attracted the negative ones. None of our popular culture, not a single thing, celebrates the inner journey to the love of the true self. In fact, that can often be misconstrued and packaged up as selfish and self serving. So everything you are exposed to is about conforming to an ‘idea’ – and it is just an idea – of what sort of person you have to be to be worthy. Exam results, career status, financial status, clubs and hobbies, family, religion, the media: all of these things add up to a massive controlling influence on how we develop socially, emotionally and spiritually. Society directs us to compare ourselves with others, to evaluate whether we are worth more or less than others and it requires us to keep up a uniform appearance as a form of identity.
Science has become an act of faith
And one thing that irks me deeply is the authority that science has assumed over our consciousness. Even with some amazing luminaries like Rupert Sheldrake and Bruce LIpton championing freedom within science, the dogmatists still evoke an almost religious militancy around the authority science has. However, did you know that the whole premise of materialism that all science is based on, the idea of a universal physical constant that everything can be quantified and measured against, is only an idea? It is a theory. All of modern science is based on a theory that the material world is constant and can be measured. And there is lots of evidence that that is simply not the case. And yet, this idea that has infected us in all areas of our life to the very core. The idea that we can measure ourselves by external standards, by fixed ideas that float around in society about our worth, and the desperate need for people to seek out connection and meaning in this meaninglessness, opens up the potentiality to be wounded every time you dare to seek intimacy with someone. And here’s why. You see, despite the fact that the world looks like it has some fixed rules and ideas of how things are meant to be, not everyone has the same internal map of the world as you. There is a private world of fear in most people about being left out, or not being part of society. These fears become very complex creating all sorts of inner conditions that we contract to within ourselves, to enable a ‘kind of intimacy’.
So one of the biggest mistakes you make in relation to others is to assume that everyone else sees the world just like you do. We assume that what things look like is how they are. And that’s because of the power of the visual: of what can be seen with the eye. It is arguably, the hangover from scientific materialism. Anything that cannot be measured and quantified in physical terms is deemed at best irrelevant. And yet it is in this ‘irrelevancy’ that our true humanity lies. In the unmeasurable depths of intimate communion.
The tyranny of the media
Meanwhile, the media has its part to play in what we consider to be the risks of intimacy. It shows us pictures of intimacy in films and it has instant access to our psyches every day through the TV. It portrays ideals in our music industry and offers sexual intimacy as a commodity that you can earn if you conform enough to ideas of physical beauty. In short, it keeps us plugged into the superficial. It seduces us all into believing that there is a golden standard of being that only when we get to it, will we have earned the right to real intimacy. The first place you can start with discovering who you really are, in your heart and soul, is to stop looking to the media for validation and support. It is the emperors clothes. Everyone thinks they are safe if they stay in the Matrix. The opposite couldn’t be more true. If you stay in that external locus of control, in that ‘out there’ world, you will end up suffering endlessly for really no good reason than to keep the media in a job and the system exactly as it is.
Why else are we afraid of intimacy?
We are afraid of intimacy, because we are wounded souls held together with social sticking plaster. Because intimacy requires you to expose the wound, to sit with the pain of connection, and to still find your truth anyway. It requires you to honour the fact you are fallible, that others too are fallible. And it requires you to have the courage to own up to your fears and more importantly, to accept them as being part of your humanity. No more sanitised compartmentalising of relevant and non relevant and of course, unconscious fears. All of them are important and the moment you recognise them for what they are, they no longer control your life and your ability to connect and have intimacy. It’s a paradox that owning your fears, creates intimacy. It creates humanity, connection and warmth. And I can help you identify and release your fears, conscious and unconscious, on my clear the fear workshops throughout 2015. With it you can learn to create independence and intimacy. And of course, the ability to be discerning with your experiences so as to know which new ones to open up to.
Intimacy is your birth right. It is what makes your life meaningful and alive. It is what gives you a reason to get up in the morning. To share your joy with others. To receive their joy humbly and to tread on the path of life knowing that your chosen intimates – who are not necessarily just your partner in life – are beating the same drum as you.