Thursday, February 26, 2009


One of the most sought after ideals in the human condition is intimacy. We yearn to have another truly know us. Yet at the same time we are desperately afraid to be seen. This harsh reality is the cause of many relationship struggles. We come together then pull apart. We desire time with others, then move away to soothe ourselves. In the dance of intimacy there is the unspoken two step that we unconsciously complete as we glide along. We often participate in the dance without even knowing it. We move in concert with our partner as though we were trained together.

Why then does the dance cause so much pain and drama in our daily lives? As we come together we feel the rush of closeness and the promise of joy that intimacy holds. We revel in the moment. But we cannot sustain the level of intimacy without feeling the fear that we somehow, will be lost. In reaction we pull back, gasping for personal space. Our instinctive reaction to pull away is our survival mechanism preserving our individuality. Intimacy at this level cannot be sustained for more than mere moments at a time. If we lived constantly at this energy level we would be exhausted.

So why does the coming apart cause so much drama and feelings of loss? Our expectations are the root of the challenge. We do not always understand the necessity of individuality. In our search for intimacy and connection we often feel that we must remain connected at all times to be whole. This is certainly not the case. In order to be two whole individuals, we must come apart to live our own lives and bring new experiences and ideas back to the joining. We must pull away to again rejoin. This time of separation allows us to live our own experiences, increase our self esteem and come back together with more to offer our partner. The synergy of the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. As we increase our self worth through self care and using our tools, we increase the value of our intimate relationships. This is a gift we give ourselves, intimacy.

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