What is the truth about love, romance, and most importantly intimacy? You might think that you know the real truth about intimacy, and what it stands for, but do you really?
“Robin, what is intimacy?” A friend, who has been more of an advisor, coach and mentor, asked,
I stalled. ‘I know what intimacy is’ I thought to myself, shoulders pulled back, chest out eager to crow like a proud rooster. Then she said it,
“Don’t answer. Don’t look on the internet or ask a girlfriend or check Facebook, just think about it.”
I stalled. Vulnerable, yet eager for the task because she is one of the few people that know how to challenge, inspire and humble me all at the same time under the sacred veil of mutual trust, dignity still well intact.
Physical intimacy I understand from the school’s sex education to Cosmo magazines to the trial-and-error that would constitute my becoming a man, ya I know exactly what physical intimacy is! Yet, after having it, most of it felt empty. It’s in that moment I realized I’m more than just this physical form, and that whatever that “more” is, craves more of itself. It wants to see itself, and experience itself with and through someone else.
My mind then shifts to the word, LOVE. Not real spirit-driven affection and acceptance, but the sticky Hollywood style kinda love that makes us sigh, want for the dysfunctional display of neurotic behavior that later we learn makes us miserable.
Uncertain if it’s the disease of unbridled passion that curbs my superior intentions to the gutters of derailment or just a misguided sense of my own, internal romance that I often don’t know what to do with. Intimacy…true, heart-exposed, vulnerable intimacy has always been hard, perhaps even terrifying. When I question other men, I find that I’m not alone.
But, sadly, I didn’t have other men (or the internet) to consult. I was called out, or better said, called IN to answer the question EVERY woman wants to know from a man:
“What is intimacy?”
In retrospect, I think it should probably be the first thing two perspective lovers/daters ask each other for certainly many problems of hurt feelings would be avoided. But I’m stalling and you know it. Ya, I’m much more comfortable telling you what to do, but this time as in all times of anything regarding greatness…I must go first.
As I explored, seeking this within myself, I found a sacred space of connection, where two people are still individuals but the lines of differentiation blur, and the division of separation evaporates to nothingness.
An overlay of playful humor blankets us, laughing in acknowledgment THIS space is where we always were, just had to consciously come into agreement.
Okay, I’m on to something now. I wanted more of this so I sold everything I owned and hit the open road. For the next month to follow, I toured the country seeking more of this state within myself. Interviews along the road were conducted as I slept under the stars and explored the many landscapes to hear the deepest parts of me and just, reconnect.
My defenses began to ease, all the walls were scaled and in time, dismantled brick-by-brick allowing nudity of soul to be reformatted to a new normal. I was truly seen, as spirit, as physical, like heart and soul and it all became blended into a mixed soup of creative yummy-ness that can be drank to nourishment never felt before.
My language changed. My friends changed and I came into sync with a natural rhythm that just felt at once as though you’re arriving at some sought-after, far-off shore, yet right back into the comfort of your childhood home.
Forgiveness seemed to come naturally and run a gentle course, grace flowed from the belly of my truest self and a constant outdoing of others affections gave a peaceful reminder that YOU are always on the other person’s mind, heart…oh yes, and soul.
I became ridiculously vulnerable in my heart, yet at the same time, strength reverberated through my veins and there was a feeling of tremendous protection. It felt foreign at first, even scary, but I just kept placing myself in positions to have intimate conversations and really connect with others where in time, I changed and new habits were formed.
My love lost its attachment to form and judgment. The opinions I held so dear that were eager for validation, the vanity that robbed my mirror of self-reflection when I looked into my partner’s eyes.
Realness kept me warm, intention kept me safe and I was finally able to step into a circle of sacredness where time stops and a third entity is birthed to coddle and create.
In retrospect, the eighteen inches from the head to the heart is the longest journey any of us will ever make.
Intimacy. It’s more than a word, a state of momentary bliss, orgasmic release or a burden for the attached with licenses of marriage or domestic partnerships.
It, this thing, this described state…is a place of unadulterated purity, where universe partners with us to heal, reunite to oneness and experience bliss.
Intimacy is the art of allowing defenses to ease, letting the nudity of your soul be reformatted to a new normal – easier normal, a more comfortable normal.
You are truly seen, as spirit, as physical, like heart and soul and it’s all blended into one. Forgiveness runs a lovely and gentle course, grace flows from the belly of our truest self and a constant outdoing of each other’s affections gives a peaceful reminder that you are always on the other person’s mind, heart and soul.
I wonder if I’ll forever struggle with intimacy and what it means to be fully known. Every day I come back to this arena, committed to a state of authenticity in every encounter with others. I look for the smiles, the clues and the subtle head tilts that indicate I’ve been true to myself and made a connection, an imprint to hold.
Intimacy, this state I craved and desired for so long, began with myself.
Um…gosh, don’t make me say … “Happy Valennn..ti..nes Day”. (Gasp) Just go love someone, start with you first.
Written by Robin Austin Reed Originally appeared on Robin Austin Reed