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 so much that you are invincible. It is also about knowing deeply you are only human. So what keeps us from knowing ourselves? From really celebrating our birthright to intimate communion?
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. The media, society itself is, hungry for our attention. It drugs us up with alluring images of perfection which is a million miles away from our hearts and minds. Society directs us to compare ourselves with others, to evaluate whether we are worth more or less than others and it requires us to adopt a persona, or ego, so that we can operate in the larger world.
Where does this external referencing come from?
The dominance of the world of the visual, superficial or the material, has its roots way back in the history of science. Materialist science has developed an almost blind faith in measuring, and therefore valuing, only what can be seen or detected by our relatively crude instruments. It has been the globalisation of this perspective that has kept us outwardly focussed, away from our personal meaning and intimate communion with others. Even with some amazing luminaries like Rupert Sheldrake and Bruce Lipton championing the influence of the unseen, scientific dogmatists still evoke an almost religious militancy around only valuing what can be objectively measured. However, did you know that the idea that only what’s visible or measurable is of value, is only an idea? It is a theory. All of modern science is based on a theory that the material world offers some constancy that can be measured. This idea has infected us in all areas of our life to the very core. The idea that we can measure ourselves by external standards, by ideas that float around in society about our worth, creates a certain meaninglessness to our lives. Seeking meaning outside of ourselves has left us empty, afraid of our own being, and eager only to find safety in numbers: perhaps an ancient herd instinct to stay together for safety. The difficulty with this fear based mentality is that every time we seek to find meaning in intimate relationships, seeking outside of ourselves for our fulfilment, we place responsibility for our happiness in someone else’s hands. And this opens us up to being wounded again and again.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make
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. As a result most people seek to subscribe to some superficial idea of intimacy, some external standard or benchmark, that people agree is acceptable, against which they can measure their level of success. And yet the more pressing truth remains, that everyone experiences the world differently regardless what society directs us to believe. As a result, one of the biggest mistakes you make in relation to others is to assume that everyone else sees the world just like you do. That everyone experiences themselves in relation to others like you. That your standards must be universal standards. Because that’s where being hypnotised by popular culture has made it impossible for you to really know yourself and communicate authentically from your heart. If you knew your own hearts deeply, you would be able to see the hearts of others too and not just this sham of ‘decency’ that masquerades as the truth.
Why we need to dehypnotise from the influence 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 instant access to our psyches every day through the TV ensures that we are hypnotisable at the flick of a switch. It portrays ideals in our music industry about 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 appearance 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.
How taking a long hard look at yourself benefits your capacity for intimacy
Taking a long hard look at yourself and unplugging from the external ideas we have of intimacy can benefit you in so many ways. Instead of being wounded souls held together with social sticking plaster, you can start to discover your true capacity for intimacy. As intimacy requires you to expose your deepest fears firstly to yourself, and then to sit with your deeper knowing, you will slowly start to realise just how beautiful you already are, regardless of how you look and what qualifies you to be part of society. In realising your true value, you begin to honour the fact you are fallible and that so are others. You begin to see that it’s ok to have your fears, and more importantly, to accept them as being part of your humanity. As you start to treat yourself more kindly, you invite others to treat you more kindly too. And as you learn to know, love and accept yourself, you prepare yourself to invite others into that sacred space with you. Now you are ready develop your intimate connection with others. 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 your authenticity, independence and intimacy in all of your close connections. Commit to yourself and join now.