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Intimacy: Into Me I See — Into Me You See!

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Intimacy: Into Me I See — Into Me You See!

Intimacy is a hot and often difficult subject. It implies letting someone else get close to us to see all our secrets and hidden places. An intimate relationship means that we are willing to let go of our defenses and be seen by another for who we are, including all of our vulnerabilities and weaknesses—into me you see—which can be terrifying.

Intimacy can cause fear, apprehension, even a shutdown of feelings. Rather than exploring the longed-for togetherness, it can all get too overwhelming, causing us to retreat back into our separate corners, hesitant to reach out again. Being seen so closely can feel as if we are totally exposed with nowhere to hide. So then we resist and put up an invisible wall in an attempt to protect ourselves from such exposure, or from rejection and hurt. However, as much as this wall may protect us, it also shuts us off from our own feelings.

One of the great benefits of a loving relationship is that it provides a safe space for all of these fears that have never before seen the light of day to be acknowledged, known, and held. In other words, love brings up everything that isn’t love. This is especially true as a relationship enters into a deepening familiarity. In the midst of all the good stuff, past hurt, insecurity, or self-doubt can emerge, straining a relationship. Yet moments like this are an invitation to embrace ourselves and breathe into the fearful places so that we can come defenseless into a relationship.

Deb: “Ed and I thought that we had nothing to hide from each other, but as trust grew it exposed all those corners where we hadn’t looked. Pain that had happened years previously was suddenly alive again, creating an emotional roller coaster. My father was abusive, had a big temper and lost it very easily. Somewhere inside, as I grew up, I unconsciously put my own anger on hold. My first marriage ended when my husband would get angry. At first, I refused to respond, but one day I couldn’t control myself any longer. The sight of my own anger freaked me out, and that was it, I was gone. When I married Ed, I discovered that I had a whole storeroom of anger locked away inside, but now I was able to face it for the first time. He gave me permission to be angry; he was willing to receive it. I could release it without fear of recrimination.”

Ed: “My mother died when I was 5 days old. Growing up I always felt alone, that no one could really love me, no one knew me. I didn’t know how to get close to someone so I learned to cover it up by being an extravert. I was voted one of the most popular at school and won all the dance contests. But I lived behind a façade. I even became a monk, not realizing it was a way of protecting myself from letting anyone get too close. All that to hide how fearful I was! As Deb and I grew closer, there were many moments when I would feel so exposed, as if I were the least lovable person in the world, and I would wonder how she could possibly love me. That someone I loved could truly love me back was immensely liberating.”

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Ed and Deb Shapiro

You can learn more in our book, Be The Change: How Meditation Can Transform You and the World, forewords by the Dalai Lama and Robert Thurman, with contributors Marianne Williamson, Jane Fonda, Ram Dass, Byron Katie and others. Our 3 meditation CD’s: Metta—Loving kindness and Forgiveness; Samadhi–Breath Awareness and Insight; and Yoga Nidra–Inner Conscious Relaxation, are available at: EdandDebShapiro.com

22 comments

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2:18PM PDT on Oct 30, 2011

“Never be embarrassed by yourself.” I like that advice - and will try the meditation. Thanks for posting.

11:30AM PDT on Sep 23, 2010

Just great! This has got to be one of the best posts i've read on Care2. Love it, thanks :)

2:06AM PDT on Jul 13, 2010

thanks

9:11PM PDT on Jul 7, 2010

i agree totally.. I've had to go through dealing with alot of emotional issues.. and the person I'm with had to open up.. this is a very good article, and it's definitely true. just gotta work at it

4:55PM PDT on Jun 19, 2010

I think many people will have a guard up to protect themselves from being emotionally hurt. Depending upon the relationship this can vary. If one is in a very committed relationship, both parties have to take a leap of faith-don't they? GOOD article! Thanks!!!

5:22AM PDT on Jun 17, 2010

Awesome :) xBx

5:59AM PDT on Jun 16, 2010

I have found when I assume my dark side is unique I choose to shut down. Not that everyone is a carbon copy of one another, but I find that once I realize that insecurities are just part of the human existence, I can accept myself better, feel stronger to share myself with others, and thus extend compassion to others who I know are just like me. Thank you for the article.

6:46AM PDT on Jun 15, 2010

I've been hiding from intimacy for awhile because with my ex our relationship was all about fun. I truly found intimacy with my new boyfriend and it feels amazing to have someone really know me and still love me.

11:40PM PDT on Jun 14, 2010

Very well said "the monsters don’t just pack up and move out overnight"

In relationships, I've found that most people seem to sub-consciously carry a lot of baggage of past relationships that they simply can't 'let go' and enjoy the present. Sad they never get a chance to actually "into me I see" happen ! Wonderful article, thanks !

9:33AM PDT on Jun 14, 2010

with out intimacy life can be smpty & boreing&sometimes not worth the liveing&as we get older it becomes even more lonly&boring, a very good article thanks

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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