Intimacy is created through sharing all of yourself with one you love. There are many expressions of intimacy and we all have different levels of awareness and willingness to share who we are. Some, maybe most of us have lost sight of the light and the beauty within and it feels as if we never really knew ourselves at all. How can we reveal what we do not know?
I do not think, as one often hears, that we cannot love someone until we fully love ourselves or that we cannot create intimacy without fully knowing ourselves. It is in honestly coming together with another admitting we don’t fully know and love ourselves that helps to reveal our essence. Saying “I don’t know” is a position of honesty, humility, and vulnerability that allows learning and connection to take place. Evolutionary growth is an interactive process between an organism and its environment. We can help another grow and mature. We shape and influence one another for better or worse.
Yet we still must take full responsibility for our own development. I have observed that women learn to hide their light and beauty from others and from themselves in particular ways. Beauty is hidden because of fears, beliefs, and assumptions. You are taught to believe that it is not okay to shine too brightly for fear of what others might think of you. You have come to believe that you need to compete with others and so you compare and judge and often find yourself lacking. So you hide your beauty in various ways; through negative emotions, through behaviors that keep you too busy, through excess focus on appearance, or through neglect of your bodies, minds, and souls. Men, of course have the same struggles but it plays out in somewhat different ways, such as the quest for power, and accumulation of possessions that you hope will earn you respect and admiration.
Please spend some time reflecting on the following poem by Derek Walcott. When you cultivate ways to feast on your life you will become full and find you have much greater depth to share with the one you love.
Love After Love
The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,
and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you
all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,
the photographs, the desperate notes;
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.