Intimacy is created when two souls manage to touch each other in a very unique way, going past the physical, connecting with the inner core of the other person. Of course this process can be uncomfortable, sometimes even painful, as it requires being able to lower our defenses in order for our partners to embrace all aspects of who we are or what we may consider our darkness…only then can a genuine loving relationship merge. Only then can we let go of our rigidity, giving way to show our partners all the treasures and wounds locked inside.
Its hard to believe but a lot of relationships are built on superficial foundations. The number of years one is in a relationship or married are not a reflection of whether or not the other person actually knows who the real you is. Mature love is not something one discovers at a specific age, within a certain amount of years of being married or within a relationship. Mature love (or real love) takes place, only when one is willing to show self…“good” and “bad” sides. Mature love realizes and understands that no matter how painful the road of vulnerability may seem, it is worth the journey.
Unlike our body, undressing our soul can be one of the hardest things to do; showing our partners the “raw” us will bring up fears and insecurities. Although is hard to take off our armor, doing so can be so rewarding. Of course doing so is a process which does not happen overnight, but it’s the only way to have a real, deep, genuine, and sincere relationship. If you go around pretending to be someone you are not to your partner and others, all you are doing is causing damage to yourself and to your other relationships.
There are two ways of being which can be very damaging to our relationships:
1) Always treating the relationship as if it was a popularity contest, where one is afraid to show the “dark” and “wounded” sides of self out of fear of seeming less confident.
2) The other can be even more damaging than the first; it occurs when one treats others always with a positive attitude, always cheery and full of “goodness”… yet at home the same person is unrecognizable, treating his/her partner as the enemy, showing no patience or concern for their feelings and ridiculing them as a man or a woman. Needless to say, these type of situations are superficial and very damaging.
Such relationships are not based on something real but on fear. No one should treat their relationship as something casual or treat everyone else better than the person one claims to love. Those type of relationships will undoubtedly wither and die, as either scenario is a great example of extremes. Black or white…extremes, have never worked, instead they can be damaging to our soul, our way of living and it can be hurtful to others. Very few things in life DO require an “extreme” response; a romantic relationship is not one of them.
Where do our defenses end and true intimacy begins? What is the key to the armor which surrounds our heart? What is the key to being able to show ourselves authentically as we are?…TRUST.
When I talk about trust I am not referring to the superficial meaning of it. Too many people like to say they can “trust”; they claim to have no fear of what the other person may or may not do. That type of trust is not bad to have, however it is what I would call level 1 trust. Most of us are capable of offering level 1 trust, at least until we get hurt; even then we can still offer some level of trust. The type of trust I am referring however, is a few steps higher….one would really need to level up to get there because level 1 is just not going to cut it. Real trust may not always seem confident, as a matter of fact, it is uncomfortable but is the type of trust that allows us to show our hurts and fears and to express our needs. These emotions can be scary as one may be afraid to come across “less confident” or “needy”, yet mature love knows behind all the pain and fears lies the real prize…REAL TRUST.
Mature love understands the storm will pass and values the amount of strength and vulnerability it takes to show the deepest parts of self. Mature love cherishes all which have made you, immature love runs away because they don’t want to deal with “baggage”. Please understand immature love does not necessarily mean the person is “bad”, it could be there is no real connection, it may be both parties are being fake with each other or it may mean the person is afraid to confront their own baggage.
We all have baggage, to deny this simple and plain fact truly is a sign of mental immaturity and non readiness for a real, deep connection. The most valuable relationships are the ones where one can learn from each other, grow and be real with one another. These type of relationships usually move on from the other end of the spectrum; after the traditional period of falling in love, usually the relationship gets rocky but as both partners progress on their uncovering of who they really are the terrain gets smoother. Once these type of relationships find their footing, there is a connection which cannot be broken. There is a genuine respect for the other person and real admiration for what they went through and who they are at present day. Very few relationships these days get there, yet mature love is not something only reserved for the “lucky” ones, rather it is something reserved for anyone willing to do the work and willing to show the deep parts of self.
Our society is huge at promoting superficial relationships, not just in our modern day…past generations had the same old erroneous rules to the “dating game”: A man was not a man if he showed his vulnerable side. A woman was not considered a lady if she wasn’t always smiling and pretending complacency. Our modern society gives room for more self expression and is awakening from such ignorance, however in their desire to break from old chains they are falling into the same old trap: “Fake Confidence” “No baggage”; here again is a great example of extremes and their damaging consequences.
Getting back to REAL TRUST. It is something that is going to take time and work because of how foreign subconsciously it is for us to release our defense mechanisms. These protective mechanisms will fall one by one, as they do real trust will start to develop. Both partners will learn no matter how hard times get, how angry and hurt they may feel from exposing their wounds, how confusing, how complex times may seem, at the end of the day their partner will be there to catch them. That is REAL TRUST, being able to show ourselves as we are, to do the work, to fight to rediscover the real us, to allow ourselves to shine, to learn to accept ourselves and to truly accept our partners for who they are…not the pretend fake “persona” but the real person behind the mask, the essence…THAT is true acceptance.
Everyone of us whether directly or indirectly, in healthy or unhealthy ways seeks to be accepted. We have mistaken real acceptance with simply having others agree with us all the time, enabling us in habits which are unhealthy for our soul, instead of being participants of our growth. Real acceptance is knowing your partner’s “darkness” and accepting he or she has wounds which may or may not be deep. It is knowing the person you love is not perfect and may piss you off yet because you know what really makes them, you can understand them without enabling them; pushing each other to grow. That is REAL ACCEPTANCE, THAT IS REAL LOVE.
It is natural to have many concerns and to reject intimacy out of fear the other person may not be as vulnerable or may not show the same desire to be “open and raw”; however, if we don’t risk showing our essence, we may lose a great opportunity to connect with a special soul. Even if the other person is not ready, your willingness to be “open and raw” may encourage your partner to do the same; if nothing else you will have taught someone an entirely different way of being, a real way of being, that is what will make you unforgettable. Pretending to be perfect is very cliché and easily forgettable as there are thousands of people willing to do the same.
We are surrounded by superficial relationships which are sustained by fear of criticism. We are surrounded by fake intimacy which involves only bodies. We all have fears yet we are willing to suffer through them alone while faking human connection rather than take a chance at something real, where we can relax and simply be. We all have fears but being afraid to be our real selves should not be one of them, ENOUGH of being fake and living ruled by the fear of not being accepted for who we are. It is time we show ourselves as we are in order to obtain that which we desire and deserve…real acceptance and love.
How do we expect to meet someone who truly loves and accepts us if we are always afraid others may discover our dark side? What you may consider your darkness might be with what the right mate may embrace and love about you. Wouldn’t it be so much better to live without fear that one day your partner will discover who you really are?
Being courageous and brave is showing ourselves for who we really are, our essence; no matter how weird and quirky, no matter how much we may rock the boat; it is choosing authenticity over false acceptance. Only then your partner will truly know you for who you really are, and only then can you be sure he or she accepts you and is by your side because there is no other place they rather be.
Loving ourselves will be key to accepting who we really are instead of giving in to a fake image because others expect it so. When it comes to loving ourselves, we all have different areas to work on, but the most important one is the one that surrounds your essence. Yes you may have fears but anything is surmountable in comparison to losing who you are in exchange for temporary acceptance. Let’s stop connecting just our bodies and instead seek for an all encompassing connection of mind, soul, and body. Let us drop the armor of fake smiles, fake attitudes of kindness, fake images of perfection…drop the elaborate makeup not just on the outside but on the inside.
In order to develop real confidence and to find real intimacy; we must be willing to drop all our disguises….for when if you bet on yourself, you will always win.