Why is it hard to talk about intimacy?
Very few of us agree on what intimacy actually means. What comes to mind when you think of intimacy? For some it’s a sexual closeness, for others it’s sharing emotionally and for others it’s a sense of feeling safe with someone. Intimacy is hard to talk about because it triggers all of our unconscious memories and experiences of when we felt truly close to someone physically or emotionally. Intimacy also taps into our unconscious desires to share ourselves with another. Any experiences where we were rejected or experienced unrequited love can cause unspoken hurts that we are ashamed or uncomfortable talking about.
We all have basic intimate needs, but our perception of those needs are conditioned by our parents, society and past. We are unaware of the conditions that shape our personal beliefs and experience of intimacy. There is little or no education about intimacy in schools or society. And if your family were ashamed or uncomfortable discussing intimacy then you will be carrying the same shame and inability to comfortably express your intimate needs, desires and dreams.
Our experiences of intimacy make strong imprints on the body and unconscious. From these experiences the mind tends to make images and concepts of what is pleasurable, what is good, what is bad, what is taboo and what is hurtful.
We set ourselves up for disillusionment because we hold onto the concepts of intimacy and our judgments about what you experienced. You may find yourself stuck on a past lover because of the wonderful intimate moments you shared with them. Or the opposite, you may not be able to forgive a partner because of how they deprived you of the intimacy you craved or worse hurt you sexually or emotionally or brought up your feelings of shame when discussing an intimate area.
Instead of connecting deeper into the person we desire to be intimate with, we tend to get stuck on the areas where our shame is triggered or our past hurts are remembered. Ironically, intimacy is the exact opportunity to heal our past with a person in the present with whom we feel safe and loved. The trick is to not blame the person in front of you for your hurts from the past. But how do you know when you are reacting from your past? Too often when it comes to the non-verbal intimacy – emotions, sexual and sensory touch, body language, tone of voice – these areas that are the most difficult to bring to conscious awareness because our perceptions are unconscious. Our concepts of intimacy can even drive us to destructive, compulsive behavior which repeats our hurt, shame or fears intimacy. You find yourself yelling at your partner for no apparent reason or pushing the person away.
In intimate relationships, you may not be able to go “head-on” into discussing physical intimacy, because you and your partner are sensitive about the topic or you hit hot buttons that bring up unconscious concerns about how you will be received or rejected in love.
Every rejection, experience and expression of love is remembered in your body and emotions. Your first connection to physical intimacy comes as a baby with your mother. Any lack of physical intimacy with your mother or interruption of that connection can create great unconscious marks on your ability to connect with another. But how many of us remember the moments from birth to early childhood? All of these unspoken fears and joys in intimate connection are bound in the unconscious memories of the body. And it’s only in love relationships that we trigger all of the unseen that is waiting to be explored through the adult exploration into love.
Your first step in discussing intimacy is to become aware of how you have judged yourself, your desires, your needs, your body, your personality and your ability and worthiness of love. There’s a lot to explore in yourself about your own judgments and beliefs about intimacy before you go knocking your partner down for how they can’t meet your concepts of intimacy.
Start with how you have judged and limited your ability to even think about your feelings, thoughts and judgments around intimacy. Then you can start to communicate with your partner about your concerns. Learn your tender spots, your weak spots and the things you feel vulnerable about, so you can begin to share with your partner in an intimate way. This will stop you from attacking your partner for not being able to see the very parts of you that are yearning to be seen.
In Transformed Relationships, a 6 month journey of defining your ultimate relationship, you get to look at romance, fantasy, love, sexual fantasy and intimacy that you have created through your life experience and your love programming. The Transformed Relationships journey uncovers the motivators that drive you in your journey of intimacy, love and relationships.
You look at your emotions and judgments that reveal themselves as you are reviewing your life experiences and your understanding of love and relationships.
Your emotions are the clue to what you are desiring to create.
Your judgments are the clue as to what blocks your desires.
If you want to create an intimacy that is free-flowing, its necessary for you to release the judgments you have made about yourself and love. It’s vital that you understand your emotions and what you are desiring to fulfill – so you can go and fulfill your desires. Without awareness of your emotions and judgments you will stumble around in your relationships without uncovering the unconscious motivations that drive you to seek intimacy in the first place.
If you have skills to express your needs such as non-violent communication, tantra, or other emotional awareness tools these are great tools. But the power of true intimacy comes from using your self-knowledge in the moment and healing your past hurts so you can be released from your past.
In Transformed Relationships you learn and practice how to remain connected to yourself when your past is triggered and stop going into old or compulsive behavior, so your past will be healed. This is the goal of true intimacy, to heal and accept and love who you are with the mirror of yourself in the person you have chose to be in relationship with. The practice exercises of Transformed Relationships allow you to be clearly aware of what you are experiencing in any moment from a deeply embodied connection where you sense what you are feeling in the body and find the words to share this with yourself and the courage to communicate what you are desiring with another. Only when you heal the hurts of your past can you create an intimacy that is the intimacy you dream of.
Join me in the journey of Transformed Relationships to uncover your intimate needs and desires and learn the relationship skills that will have you realize those dreams.