Oftentimes, we are taught to view intimacy through the lens of feeling good; connection, pleasure, excitement, love.
For many, intimacy = sex.
For others, intimacy can take on a variety of forms. To name a few: physical contact, energetic connection, dancing, looking into the eyes of another, sharing a silent moment together, being vulnerable, having a good cry with someone, being witnessed.
I have prided myself in being someone who has dissolved the conditioning that intimacy has to equate to sex. I have also prided myself in being someone who is able to experience intimacy in many forms.
Something I’ve come up against recently is the other side of intimacy. The side I wasn’t seeing because it wasn’t as easily accessible to me as the love side or the “good cry” side. The side I don’t yet pride myself in realizing or embodying.
The side of intimacy that I am predominantly, terrible at. And in naming that can see that there’s deepening needed on the entire spectrum of intimacy.
I’m infatuated with paradox. In that, the paradoxical & intoxicating nature of the shadow. The notion that whenever there is something available through something that feels good there is also just as much available through something that doesn’t feel good.
THE INTIMACY IN DISCOMFORT
+ Experiencing anger or receiving / holding someone’s anger
+ Receiving hard feedback or reflections
+ Sitting in someone else’s discomfort that you facilitated without apologizing, or leaving your body
+ Naming your truth, even when it hurts
+ Standing up for yourself
+ Standing up for others
+ Compassionately calling someone out
+ Setting boundaries
+ Taking ownership of who & what you let into your life
+ Taking ownership that you have a choice to give or not give someone space in your experience
+ Being vulnerable about things you would rather poop yourself than share
+ Admitting when you are wrong, taking ownership & apologizing
+ Receiving compliments, fully
+ Claiming your value monetarily to someone & charging + receiving payment
+ Clearly communicating your needs, wants & desires - without the expectation that they are met, but simply to name them
+ Asking for something that you want, even when it's uncomfortable
Although I do work consciously with some of these pieces, this is the side of intimacy that is much scarier for me to dance with.
I’ve started to see the crucible of intimacy with the self as the ability to remain present & in the body during every experience. More importantly, the high sensation or energetically charged experiences, that most of us were modeled to or programmed to leave our body or distract ourselves from.
When I’m interacting with anything on this list, my entire body lights up with sensation. There is an inner knowing, “do it, say it, go there.” My heart pumping, my body hot, my skin chilled. It feels that if I don’t show up, my entire body will combust & burst into a million pieces. After the experience is over, I can feel the power swirling within my being, settling & integrating. I can feel a piece of myself come online that was dormant & safe, swimming in passivity. I can feel in every ounce of my being that an empowered woman on the path to liberation & the cultivation of the radically, whole human-self, doesn’t suppress, shy, or people-please these experiences away. She steps into them.
Sometimes shaking in utter discomfort.
She shows up.