Learning to Love Intimately
In Sanskrit, there are 96 words to describe the word love. In our culture, we tend to throw the word ‘love’ around haphazardly in all different kinds of relationships. What I’ve found is that it is often easy to love, but loving intimately is difficult in the best of times.
Intimacy has been difficult for me. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that it is difficult for many of us.
How do we love intimately?
I’ve been an incredibly sensitive, emotional creature since birth. I have always felt others intensely – their emotions, their needs, their soul’s potential. This has been both a blessing and a curse. I am wonderful at diving into the depths of a person, but I have often gotten lost there. For much of my life I have put so much energy into seeing others that I have failed to truly see into the depths of myself.
I first started looking into the depths of myself when I was going through a depression in my life. Staring into my own darkness was my first lesson in becoming intimate with myself. I think this is so important for us as women to sit with ourselves and become comfortable with our own darkness and sadness. It’s how we learn about our authentic selves away from the influence and expectations of others.
In my darkness, I learned about the unworthiness that had made me so fearful of seeing myself, and the vulnerability I felt in being seen by others.
This was the beginning of my intimate relationship with myself. I nurtured this relationship and became comfortable with myself. During this transformational time, I experienced a severe communication breakdown with my boyfriend. I realized how much I longed to become intimate with him, but that he was not ready to be intimate with himself, let alone with me.
This sent me spiraling into all of my unworthiness. I looked back into myself, into the darkness, where I learnt an important lesson. Becoming intimate with ourselves readies us to become intimate with someone else. But without communication, there can be no intimacy between two hearts.
A few months later, I met someone who I knew instantly was my soul mate. Entering a relationship with this person made me so grateful for all the lessons I had learned in intimacy. I am still learning about intimacy each and every day, and it is often difficult for me to express my inner depths. My boyfriend is always encouraging me to speak my truth, and I am still shocked sometimes that my truth does not send him running out the door! I believe that we are a true gift to each other to be learning how to love intimately.
Learning to love intimately starts with becoming intimate with yourself. It can be downright terrifying sometimes to become intimate with our inner depths, but it is well worth the rewards.
Learning to become intimate with someone else requires a lot of communication, patience and acceptance that you are each on your own path. Becoming intimate with each others’ bodies often follows this beautiful unfolding and brings us into deeper understanding of each other.