Have you noticed how quickly we think intimacy means SEX? It’s become an essential ingredient for most TV and movie plots. Yet, what of all the important relationships that aren’t sexual… with children, best friends, our true self, just to name a few. So what is emotional intimacy? And why do we need it?
Intimacy, as I see it, is a willingness to lay aside one’s defenses and allow pure connection with another without expectation or content. A willingness to be seen as you are and to see them as they are…. And it’s a basic human need.Researchers found that children in overcrowded orphanages who did not receive regular connection through individual attention and non-sexual touch actually died. And, when college students watched movies of Mother Teresa tending to homeless children, their immune systems showed spontaneous spikes… even the laughing boys who made fun of her while watching. The human psyche thrives on human connection.
Are you limiting your reservoir of connection to sexual/romantic relationships? I have a 4-day RIM Retreat coming up June 6-9 and I find that even in a small group most people are initially uncomfortable gazing into another’s eyes. Giggles and wiggles signal their nervousness. Yet, as they settle into seeing and being seen, they shift from self-consciousness to stillness. And before you know it, they are feeling connection in the silence. This uninhibited way of being with another is more nurturing than you can imagine, and creates a feeling of being accepted for who we are without pretense or performance. We could use some of that in our world!
Wow! In fact, connection is a form of meditation… we calm the mind and body merely by being present with another human being in a natural way. Self-consciousness and nervousness fall away to reveal a still and deep connection beneath thoughts and form. It gives me chills to remember the feeling… and so simple! Connection is our natural state that begins the human journey with union of egg and sperm in conception, expands during pregnancy until we are separated at birth. We subconsciously remember this original state of oneness and long for it’s return. Some of us seek it through sex, yet the intimacy of sex is temporary and entangled with unspoken expectations.
This month’s meditation is dedicated to our inherent ability to share emotional intimacy with anyone at anytime… with our clothes on!
Meditation: Simple Gazing
With your eyes open… softly gaze into a mirror… Taking a deep cleansing breath… relax into sensing this human being the you who gazes back from the reflective surface… letting go of any desire to critique or think about how s/he looks… you soften even more as you focus your attention on these eyes, especially the right one…
Ahhh… you sense the soulfulness!
Allowing a connection with your true self, you notice whatever’s there, especially the vulnerability… and whatever emotion arises in the body is received as energy without thought… as you settle into a place of greater comfort and ease.
Hmmm… you sense the humanity!
Receiving the wholeness of this being who returns your gaze… you settle into an expanded knowing of yourself…
A beautiful blending of soul and body…
inner and outer…