Updated: Feb 1, 2019
I struggle with intimacy, I think. I am a 0 or 100, nothing-in-between type of person. At least, when it comes to loved ones. If I sense danger or hurt, I flee without asking questions. I know immediately if I know I can feel and be safe with someone. I am never one to make an enemy. The part of me that was taught at a young age to be mindful of the rug being pulled out from under me, also learned how to read a room. I know who is “good” and who is “bad”. I feel the weight of people’s emotions and have been an empath for most of my life. Now some of what you have just read is drenched in childish ways. Life is not black or white. It is most often grey. The rug gets pulled, but as an adult you are *usually* equipped with the tools to catch yourself or get a bandaid if you fall. If you are not equipped, you know how to access it. The information era we are steeped in is finally good for something.
And yet, I struggle with intimacy because we often have a 12 year old inside of us warning us of getting too close, too comfortable, too soon. Intimacy is a little different than vulnerability to me. As for me, intimacy can happen without your permission. You ever been around someone who just gets you? They say the thing you think. They feel the things you feel. You feel pulled towards their very being, even if you have not seen or spoken to them. Intimacy for me is a vibe. It is the pull I have towards my mother. It is the history I have with my father. It is the connection I have with my husband. My best friend, Noelani, can be on the phone with me for 5 minutes and she says the EXACT thing I needed to hear, bringing me to tears because I am a sap and then two moments later make me lose my breath from laughing so hard. It is the feeling at church when the message was so spot on you are lookin’ around for the cameras/Big Brother.
Perhaps I do not struggle with intimacy. Perhaps I struggle with resting in it for too long without having my guard up. I can be vulnerable because most of the time, I get to make the rules. I can control the circumstances, but intimacy comes at you fast.
I have found my deepest desire is to truly be connected to people. I like to travel. I love a good meal. I enjoy nice things. I love my career, but that feeling when you are around people who just understand and are good and kind makes me feel good. Intimacy reminds me that to truly relish in the sanctity of intimacy I must not fear it or even embrace it, but recognize that I am it.
And I’m working on it.