Amatory movement

She

turns words

loose in me

gentle soft travelers

sent across all of her

being in deep amatory

movement wandering

her sweet configurations

in velvet darkness

feather tasting

undulating shapes

I’d believe

unreal if

I wasn’t

awake.

 

************

for a dream

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Fear of intimacy

They are wounded.

Keep this in mind when you see or experience people — or yourself — hiding or running from real intimacy in a relationship.

I am not talking solely about physical intimacy or love-making intimacy. I say love-making intimacy because people have been having sex for years without an iota of emotional and spiritual intimacy to be seen for miles. Physical intimacy, holding hands, holding each other, cuddling, simply touching, can be a steep climb for the badly wounded. Love-making intimacy, even steeper.

Avoiding intimacy takes many forms. One of the more common is when people enter into relationships with partners who are either unable or unwilling to be intimate. At times, this allows the partner seeking intimacy to both bemoan the absence of intimacy on the one hand without ever having to  be intimate on the other. Choosing to be with someone who can’t be intimate can be a way of avoiding intimacy in and of itself. This does not mean either person is aware of the intimacy-avoiding pattern they’re trapped in.

If emotional and spiritual intimacy were physical beings the amount of intimacy being lost could fill the Grand Canyon on a daily basis.

There are real reasons deserving of the deepest respect people fear intimacy. Almost without exception the fear revolves around the following truth. At some point in time, usually in childhood, but not exclusively so, you were in some way taught that being who really really are was dangerous. Emotionally, physically, or sexually dangerous. Someone you loved with all your heart died. You were abused physically, emotionally, spiritually, sexually. Somehow, through no fault of your own (even if you are still making the mistake of holding yourself responsible (You’re not!)), you came to believe truly being yourself with someone else was dangerous.

For an array of reasons, I believed it was dangerous for me to be myself with someone for years. For me, getting free of this fear began with two understandings. First, getting free of this fear meant getting free of my history. Second, who deserves to be in control of my decision making? Me or my history?  I pick me.

Talking about the fear with someone is not only an immense help, it is necessary. Talk to someone: a psychotherapist, a member of clergy, a close friend. Now, for those who believe asking for help is an act of weakness, let me ask you something. If it is an act of weakness to ask for help, then why is it so hard to do? After all, if it was an act of weakness, asking for help would be easy. And, it’s not so much that I think each of us need the help. I think we damn well deserve it. Why? Because you deserve to get free of your history’s decision-making power. Promise.

FEAR OF INTIMACY

Fear of intimacy is an epidemic in my culture. This fear, this unkind barrier to people fully loving each other, robs so many people of the relationships they deserve – and want.

To my mind, there are three primary forms of intimacy: physical, emotional, and spiritual.

There are numerous essays and articles on the net talking about communal relationships as opposed to exchange relationships, or, as one article I ran across calls the latter, strategic exchange relationships. This latter form of relationship is highly problematic if your goal is to be in a loving intimate relationship with someone and not simply use someone for sexual or material gain.

While it seems to me the strategic exchange relationship is by far the most common relationship we see, I believe most people honestly and honorably want the communal relationship.

As I understand it, the strategic exchange relationship is a relationship where one person is seeking to get something or give something to the other in part by convincing them that the relationship is based on true intimacy. To my mind, this pattern of manipulative behavior can be driven by the subconscious as well as the conscious. According to more than one source, strategic exchange relationships are rather brittle and likely to break apart and come to an end when disagreements and differences arise.

Communal relationships, the truly emotionally, physically, and spiritually intimate relationships, are the durable ones. These relationships are far more likely to weather the storms. Their foundations are not so apt to be fractured and damaged by disagreements, differing views, and the traumas life dishes out to us all. Why? Because there is trust. There is a belief that each is their with the other person’s best interest at heart. There is a belief that neither would knowingly do nor say anything to wound or damage the other. This type of bond does not exist in the exchange relationships.

But why the exchange relationships in the first place? Why the fear of intimacy? Why the fear to trust? These fears arrive in our lives for real reasons: past wounds, betrayals, abuse of all kinds endured as children, or adults for that matter.

In other words, it’s our histories. Components of our histories provide the biggest obstacles to our ever realizing the kind of communal relationships so many deeply and sincerely long for.

So, here’s a thought to take with you. Who deserves to be in charge of your ability to be in the kind of communal relationship your heart desires? You or your history? I say, you.

The thing is, when the fear arrives, when your history raises its hideous head in an attempt to derail you, talk to the person you are with about your fears. If they listen, you are in good stead. One other thing, let them talk, and when they do, listen to them. Listen to each other; don’t judge each other.

And for god sakes, don’t forget to hold each other.

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