Intimacy: close familiarity or friendship; closeness

For many of us there is a real approach/avoidance conflict silently running our quest to have intimate connections with others.

For some it looks easy, for some, quite impossible.

There are many stories in our culture that relate to our quest for intimacy. Many of them imply that it’s just a matter of finding the right person. But we’ve been there and done that. A few times or many time, but it so often tends to dissipate over time. And why do our relationships seem to keep looking the same, no matter who they happen to be with. Start great, turn sour.

Was the intimacy we felt so deeply at first an illusion? Or do we merely need to learn how to find it and keep it? Is it a false promise perpetuated by Hollywood and the romance novel industry? Is it an impossible dream?

Why is something that we long for so elusive?

“Once bitten, twice shy” is what we are left with after an unpleasant experience, which makes us more careful to avoid similar experiences in the future.

“I opened my heart to him and he stepped on it.” “How come they all look like the Princess at the beginning and then turn into the Witch?”

I wonder if this “Once bitten, twice shy” thing starts when we begin dating or if starts at birth. Who has let us down? Who did we trust that blew that trust? Is anybody truly trustworthy? Am I?

What if one of our let downs is serious enough that we make a conscious decision about others that becomes an unconscious but very powerful voice in our heads and hearts? I think that’s a big part of the being human thing. As I’ve said more than once about those hidden voices that run us, “That’s why they call them blind spots.” Of course other people’s blind spots are so much more visible to me than my own, and mine are quite visible to them.

“If you want something done right you’ve got to do it yourself.” “Why are men so heartless?” “I just know this is going to end up just like all the other relationships I’ve been in. I just know it.”

If we tend to end up in familiar territory at the end of relationships what is there to do about it?

I’m quite a fan of inspirational quotes and "posters".

Facebook friends are often posting them to help me remember who I am and what I’m up to. I get to pick and choose the ones that fit best for me. I notice that the ones I like relate to what’s going on in my life at the time I read them.

Einstein reminds us, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” This often seems very apparent in others, but much less so in ourselves.

Abe Lincoln reminds us that “People are just as happy as they make up their minds to be.” As in there’s no one in charge of our happiness except ourselves.

Rumi – “If you are irritated by every rub, how can you be polished?”

Marianne Williamson:

Love is what we are born with.
Fear is what we learn.
The spiritual journey is the unlearning
of fear and prejudices and the acceptance
of love back in our hearts.
Love is the essential reality
and our purpose on earth.
To be consciously aware of it,
to experience love in ourselves and others,
is the meaning of life.
Meaning does not lie in things.
Meaning lies in us.


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