Beyond the Fear of Intimacy
by Laura Grace
"This is the spiritual meaning of intimacy: growth inward, past our masks and fears and recklessness, to the sacred place where we are naked before God and each other." ~ Marianne Williamson
Intimacy can only be experienced as we learn to love ourselves (and others), not for who we think we should be, but for who we really are. We are constantly in process; our soul longs to move forward, to experience the richness of living life with an open mind and expanded heart, and it is only through our own soul growth that we can bring passion and intimacy into our relationships.
Author, teacher and Jungian dream analyst Marion Woodman shares how a common dream theme entails the dreamer being instructed to go to the basement or cellar to find a black box. As the dreamer looks into the box she sees a bird, wispy and skeleton-like that hoarsely whispers, "I only wanted to sing my song…." How many of us have not recognized our soul’s passion, or have not possessed the courage to act on it? Sadly, this dream metaphor is true for most of us. Far too many of us have come the end of our life only to discover that we have not fulfilled our soul’s destiny. Yet this need not be!
As we delve inward to our soul and listen to its urging, we awaken with the aliveness and passion that feeds life force energy back into our relationships, nourishing them with zest and excitement. When our relationships become boring and routine (yawn), it’s because we are not diving within where our emotional and passionate waters run deep. In fact, when one is sexually shut down (and keep in mind that our sexual desire is where our co-creative spark surges from), it’s often because we are not in touch with our soul. The physical "dryness" we may be experiencing is symbolized by the lack of creative and soulful juices that are not flowing.
Countless times, while counseling people on relationship, I hear how the sexual desire is gone for one or both parties. When this is expressed, my immediate response is, "Are you feeling emotionally close to one another?" and "Are you taking the time to do your own ‘soul work’?" Quite often, the partners are not looking within to their own creative source. Each one is looks instead to the other for sustenance. If we don’t plunge into our soul and connect with Spirit, we become barren, leaving us with absolutely nothing to give to the other. It’s no wonder we end up feeling unfulfilled, empty and needy!
If you desire intimacy, first look outward to your relationships and notice if those closest to you feel accepted and loved for who they are. Next, observe how often you are loving and accepting of yourself. Any thoughts that are self-deprecating and critical are the places where healing is needed in order for true intimacy to occur. To the extent you honor yourself and allow your own soul to soar is the extent you will be willing to support another’s inner light and soulful flight.
Next, ask yourself, "How well do I know my own soul?" "How much time am I taking to access my passion?" "Am I willing to spend the necessary time alone to connect with my soul?"
Bringing our unconscious mind into consciousness is the stuff dreams—and healthy, intimate relationships—are made of. Through our relationships we discover when we are projecting our needs onto another, versus if, and how much, we truly love that person. For example, if you are unconsciously projecting your father onto your partner, you will always be disappointed for your partner will never, ever, be able to meet your needs. Constantly replaying the same old patterns that your mother and father did will only keep you chained to the past, preventing openness, sharing and love to flow through you.
Genuine intimacy starts with us. Since we cannot give something we do not have, to know another means we must first know ourselves. Probing question, such as "What does my soul crave?" "What do I most need to experience in order to grow?" and "What brings me aliveness and joy?", blaze a trail for our spiritual and emotional development.
Once we have awakened the spark within, we must be willing to release our attachment to the opinions of others and live a life that suits us, no matter how different that life may appear to be. A healed life, an empowered life, an intimate life, is foreign to us. We currently have no paradigm for true intimacy and unconditional love. Societal beliefs about relationship, being based on fear and guilt, cannot guide us. In fact, mainstream consciousness is still imbedded in the belief that form is everything and that soul growth, if there is such a thing, is irrelevant. Thus, we must be willing to forge the paths of mature relationship on our own. This entails using the guidance of our nightly dreams, intuition and synchronicities and assistance of our higher self.
Like a snake shedding its skin, we heal and evolve as we release old patterns and reach upward, like kundalini energy, toward our higher good. As we become more conscious, our masculine and feminine energies are ignited and the effort toward balancing these primal energies begins. Symbolically, this may be seen as two snakes simultaneously rising upward. Although in Western culture many of us fear snakes and equate them to evil and destruction, they are actually a powerful archetype representing the creative life force that flows through the endocrine centers, propelling us toward spiritual awareness. Shedding many skins, snakes are frequently a symbol of eternal life.
If you are ready to inflame your relationships with passion and intimacy, you must first be willing to become inspired yourself. Remember that there is a wellspring of joy and aliveness already within you. Only your willingness and desire are needed to awaken it. Once you have tapped into the Godforce energy that nourishes your soul, you will never, ever, want to settle for less. Doing so will feel like death. Your soul is eternal and thrives on experiencing the depths of life. Recognizing this fact will inspire you to relish all of the richness that a genuinely intimate and awakened life has to offer you.
© Copyright 2001 Laura Grace. All Rights Reserved Excerpted from Laura's newest book, 'The Intimate Soul." Published by Sustainable Solutions Press. Available soon in bookstores.
Laura Grace is Co-founder of Infinite Wisdom, an organization dedicated to the highest human capacity, and a national author and speaker. As a regular contributor for publications across the US and Canada, Laura writes about human awareness and spiritual growth. Laura is the author of the widely acclaimed book Gifts of the Soul and is the creator and teacher of various programs, including the transforming and popular Self-Mastery Program, Claim Your Inner Power!, The Art of Compassionate Forgiveness, Wonderful Women: Reclaiming Our Power, Passion and Purpose!, Creating Soul in Relationships, Living the Intimate Life and several others. Please visit Laura's web site at: www.LauraGrace.net, or by calling 888.PEACE-93.