”My friends tell me I have an intimacy problem. But they don’t really know me.” Garry Shandling
Can you differentiate between sex and intimacy? Have you experienced true intimacy with anyone, including yourself? Or did you immediately chuckle and envision some fantasy or taboo image when you read those words?
Since I was a young girl I understood there was a difference between sex and the absolute ‘acceptance’ one has toward another (and themselves) – my perception of intimacy. It was thrown in my face from encounters with boys and men, that no young girl should experience. But I did…and have spent years to determine how those experiences affected my ability to seek and accept intimacy in my life; whether by family, friends and especially men.
Over the years I have learned and been told by many women and men that they see sex and intimacy the same; if they are having sex they are being intimate. If they are in love, that is intimacy. Men will certainly tell you that by them simply having sex with you, they are being intimate. Really? Well, I have had sex, yet rarely had intimacy with the man.
There are others who, like me, know there is a difference, but are unsure that they have ever really experienced it. They are aware of gravity intimacy has on one’s self worth, yet are constantly seeking it in their heart and life.
Why do I bring this, somewhat touchy (no pun intended) subject up? It isn’t to get chuckles from you…as many people laugh when they are broaching a subject that they are uncomfortable with. The reason is; so many individuals struggle with low self worth, insecurity, fear and sometimes a pure dislike for themselves. They lack intimacy for themselves, let alone for and with other people.
As Garry Shandling states, “My friends tell me I have an intimacy problem. But they don’t really know me.”
Intimacy, as Wikipedia defines it, is ….. as a noun “intimate” means a person with whom one has a particularly close relationship. The adjective, “intimate” indicates detailed knowledge of a thing or person. Wikipedia goes on to explain that “To sustain intimacy for any length of time requires well-developed emotional and interpersonal awareness.”
And it is that, emotional and interpersonal awareness, that I am after. Not only for myself, but for you as well.
I was 40 before I met a man that I was my absolute-self with; even when I did not have a full understanding of ‘me’….he did. He saw me for exactly who and I was – I was still in my ‘bitch’ stage, I was hiding my emotions behind social drinking, I was lashing out on everyone around me, and I was obsessed with working out, and being out (anywhere but alone). He never judged me, though he certainly called me out on my self-abuse, and he accepted me for exactly who I was. More importantly, I trusted him enough to let both him and me to see the ‘real me’… for the first time, ever.
And yet, we were never lovers (not saying I didn’t want to be).
For the first time in my life, without ever climbing under the sheets, he taught me what intimacy was. And that taught me to seek more of it, work on it, and have it with other people; including my family.
I adore my family… tears well up in my eyes when just mentioning them. Yet there is no secret, that I absolutely adore my younger sister. For years, stating “She is my heart”…was the only way to express my feelings for her; until I learned what intimacy was. I finally could put a word to the feeling of absolute trust, love, and adoration we had for one another; intimacy.
As a result of those two individuals, I have sought intimacy in every worthwhile relationship I have – family, friends, men, and especially me. How?
- on a daily basis, get in touch with yourself – who you are to YOU, what you want, what you do not want, and what you need from others
- push yourself to open up and show the world (whether one person or many) who you truly are, even if that means changing (and growing) what others have seen of you. There is no time like now to start living ‘real’
- receive from others, accept their friendship – love, generosity, etc.. Don’t put your arms up preventing gifts and blessings. Simply accept
Intimacy is key for anyone wanting a full, RICH life. Though I can’t tell you that I have shed all of my bitches of distrust and fear of intimacy…. walls have been crashing down around me and I am throwing away the rubble and finding a brilliance in me… intimacy for myself. That will carry me forward to whatever life and God has in store.
I hope you have found your own love and intimacy for yourself…and with those around you. If you are still working toward it…keep pushing through those walls, they will crash around you as well.
Listen in every Tuesday at Noon to Shedding the Bitch Radio where we discuss topics such as this and other inner bitches that keep you from RICHES in life….. You can listen to today’s episode – Shedding Your Bitches with Fifty Shades of Grey...