Often, when we think of the word intimacy, we think of it in a sexual content, but is that what it really means? I know that it is possible to have a sexual encounter with another person with no intimacy involved whatsoever. Yes, a sad fact in my world, but true. So what is intimacy, real intimacy?
Intimacy is derived from the Latin intima, meaning "inner" or "inner-most". Your inside being is the real you, the you that only you can know. The problem is that you can know it only when you are being intimate with something or someone outside of yourself. Intimate itself is a revealing word. As an adjective it means "personal", "private", "detailed", "deep", "innermost". As a noun it describes a close friend or associate. As a verb it means "to make known indirectly" or "to hint at". This sense of touching our innermost core is the essence of intimacy: It contains all the qualities implied in its various definitions. ~~The Art of Intimacy; Thomas Patrick Malone; Patrick Thomas Malone
So, now that we know the meaning of intimacy, the question I put before you is - How many people are we truly intimate with? How many people do we allow to see the real us, and are they the folks you would expect, like our spouses, our family, our closest friends? And if not, then why?
I'm not sure about you, but in my world I find judgement and expectations every way I turn. People tend to have preconceived ideas of who I am or who they would like me to be or expect me to be. And like most human beings who need and long to be loved, I try my best to fit into the mold that has been created for me. Often times though, this mold does not take into account the REAL me. Very often the mold chaffs and rubs and squeezes me to the point of pain. So why do I continue to try to fit a square peg into a round hole? The answer is simple...acceptance.
We all want to be accepted and loved for who we really are, however, more often than not we are more likely to try to be what others want us to be and not who we really are. This is a problem. This brings a breakdown in intimacy.
I have been blessed with a very small group of people with whom I can be intimate. These are the folks I can really let my hair down around without fear of judgement. These are the people who know the real me. I do not fear that they will turn away from my flaws and warts. I do not fear that they will stop loving me based on the things I say or do. Unconditional love works that way. Unconditional love makes room for intimacy.
I try my best to love unconditionally. I strive to see the good in people and not judge them. I do not always agree with everyone, nor do I condone everything they do. I just love them and allow them to be themselves. My husband once said to me, "I think you must have,'Tell me your deep dark secrets' tattooed on your forehead", because often times people, sometimes complete strangers, would just open up to me and tell me their entire life story. I told my husband, "No, that is not what it says. It says, 'Trust me. I will not judge you. I will just love you and be your friend.'"
Intimacy...a powerful word. A word that takes mutual trust, unconditional love and acceptance to achieve. Work to be someone others can be intimate with and YOU will receive the blessing. I promise.