I was talking about intimacy with a friend this morning. She was mourning the lack of intimacy in her relationship with her partner. I asked her how she rated the intimacy she has with herself; being tender, kind, forgiving, loving and gentle with herself.
This was a new thought for her.
As Byron Katie (www.thework.com) might say; ‘If you think it’s so easy for someone else to be intimate with you, try doing it for yourself.’
Intimacy for me is when I sit with pain and hurt and accept it as part of me, without judgment. I’d do that for a friend, so I must do it for myself to be authentic. This requires deep vulnerability, which to me requires empathy and compassion in my thinking. Allowing myself to find the place in my body that feels vulnerable and sitting with that feeling for as long it needs me. Not being frightened of the feeling. To me this is an ultimate act of intimacy.
We can shame ourselves out of feeling negative emotions, self-talk our way to ‘buck-up’, ‘get over it’; when all we really need is a little tenderness.
Empathy and compassion kill shame.
Don’t second-guess your own intentions; accept self-love and kindness warmly, without fear. Intimacy is checking in with your heart about how you are travelling and supporting yourself by opening your heart to yourself through thick and thin. To me as a writer and artist, vulnerability it’s not only the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change, it is my way back home.