The further into this project I go, the more I realize that our interactions with the world start first with ourselves. Intimacy is no different, and it goes hand in hand with honesty. Intimacy is a closeness we build overtime through a development of trust with other people and, yes, with ourselves as well. From the ability to love and trust yourself comes intimacy, and in first knowing yourself, you are then able to have much healthier and stronger relationships with others.
On the topic of intimacy, Anne Wilson Schaef writes:
“If we cannot be intimate with ourselves, we have no one to bring to intimacy with another person.
Intimacy with ourselves takes time. We need time for rest, time for walks, time for quiet, and time to tune in to ourselves. We cannot completely fill up our lives with activities and become intimate with ourselves. Nor can we just sit quietly indefinitely and become intimate with ourselves. We have to have the time and energy to be our lives and to do our lives in order to establish an intimate relationship with ourselves.
Surprisingly, as we become intimate with ourselves, we discover our connection with others and with the divine. Neither is possible without intimacy with ourselves.”
Intimacy, like anything else, cannot be rushed. It is all about balance. You must allow yourself the space and time you need to truly to get to know yourself well and develop a deep relationship, as is the case for any relationship in your life. It only makes sense that the one you cultivate with yourself would be no different. So few people in the world take the time to truly understand themselves and their motivations. Many of the world’s problems, in fact, arise from this lack of self-reflection. The more we learn about ourselves, the better we understand and are able to relate to others. Funny how that works, isn’t it? The relationship we have with ourselves is arguably the most precious one we have in life. Who better to know and love ourselves?
I have been faltering a bit in this area lately. It seems there are so few hours in the day, and I am stretched in a hundred different directions between the various priorities and obligations in my life. It’s critical that I take time for myself though. We do need time to rest, to walk, to enjoy quiet and solitude, and to pursue our passions and hobbies. Why deny ourselves the pleasure of these things that make life so enjoyable? Why deny the chance to have an amazing relationship with the person who matters most in our lives… us?