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Intimacy (eek)

Dr. Helen Johnson

14 Feb 2016

Well well, if it isn’t the annual day of love again – very close to my birthday so I like to imagine all the hearts...

Well well, if it isn’t the annual day of love again – very close to my birthday so I like to imagine all the hearts plastered everywhere are for me Today I’ve been thinking about what it means to want love in your life – romantic love in particular. I think of love as a vibration, a feeling of connection, joy, peace, and embracing life, yourself and other people. On a practical level, relationships are also about  things like sharing, physical connection, companionship, support… etc. When you imagine being in a relationship or you think about what your own relationship involves, what do you see and what do you value? – Fighting over what to watch on Netflix? Having someone make you a cup of tea? Dancing together?

Whatever it is that people are craving when they crave relationship, I doubt whether they consciously crave real intimacy – by that I mean really, truly being seen by another human being. In reality, a lot of people go out of their way to avoid this even with the people closest to them (and let’s not even get started on the outright liars!). There are so many subtle ways of avoiding being seen – like one woman who won’t let her partner see her without makeup, or another whose partner knows nothing of her rather colourful past, or another who will never, ever admit to being angry… Why do we do this? Because we are afraid that if we get really honest about who we are then people will reject us or they will reject our needs. And yet, I believe that each one of us deep down craves being seen more than anything else on our list… Because trying so hard not to be seen requires us to abandon ourselves and is, quite frankly, exhausting.

When I talk about honesty, I do not mean that brand of honesty which tells us to sprinkle our opinions liberally with no regard for other people’s feelings – that has nothing to do with honesty! Honesty is about communicating your truth, not imposing your judgements (your opinions are not your truth, your truth is your needs, wants, motivations, desires, feelings, ideas, creativity…). So, in honour of this month of love, I am inviting you to take part in a challenge  that I have adopted myself and that will actually foster real intimacy, which is:

Be impeccable with your word.

Mean what you say, say what you mean, speak your truth… Do not speak when it would or could harm you to do so, do speak when the alternative is to abandon yourself. Quit trying to influence how other people see or feel about you and simply get honest, firstly with yourself, and then with other people… Speak from your heart and not your head and let your highest values be expressed. Do not undermine yourself or others with your words.

Sound simple? Maybe. Easy? Definitely not. Life changing? I suspect so…

Much love,

Helen x

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