If ever there was a fear with a justified place in the human experience, it is fear of intimacy. This pen is not referring to sex. People have sex every day in this land and beyond without a single iota of emotional intimacy. Sex and love-making are two different worlds.
This pen is talking about emotional and intellectual intimacy. I’m talking about allowing oneself to be yourself with another person and trusting it is safe to do so. No relationship of any kind can be a healthy, flourishing place to be if both people can’t fully be themselves with each other.
When you’ve absorbed enough wounds in life, such intimacy feels like an impossibility. However, because it feels like an impossibility does not mean it is one. For many of us, myself included, taking the risk of trusting is not a chump change endeavor – not by any measure. There is a close-to-my-heart saying I believe in. It’s okay to be afraid, don’t let it scare you. Meaning, if any of us wait for the fear to pass before we take the risk, we will remain stuck in place.
I have a relationship with my past wounds, my history. And, if there is one thing that gets my back up, it’s the very notion of giving my past wounds decision-making power. Yes, caution and patience are worthy allies. And with them at my side, I’ll be damned if I will allow my history to obliterate the possibility of a deeply loving relationship.
I woke up this morning to learn a friend of mine has suffered two strokes and is now, as I write these words, in a drug-induced coma. Right-sizing experiences like these remind me – and I would hope and pray they would remind anyone – that holding off on letting people know you love them is a tectonic mistake in judgment.
Grudges over past missteps and “bruises” – real or imagined – impede far too many people from letting people know they are loved. When you let someone know you love them, you will not always hear or read the same in return. Please don’t let that stop you from telling them they are loved. Who knows what wounds live in the minds of others, and impede them from saying I love you too? And then again, maybe they don’t. And that’s okay too.
Life happens to us whether we like it or not. We have say in how we respond to it.
Pray for my friend, please. He’s a truly good man. First thing I’m going to tell him when I see him is, “I love you, brother.”
If you are loved, don’t miss it. Life happens to us whether we like it or not and though love may portend permanence, it is, sadly, not the overseer of life (unfair I know). But life, it seems to me, is not cut from a fabric beholden to anything but its very existence.
If you love, give it your all. I say this with one caveat; that you do not give it your all at the expense of giving up who you are. And who you are deserves respect. Know that. And if, now, as your eyes travel this page, you find that hard to belief, it is still true. Promise. We all lose sight of our value and worth from time to time, doesn’t mean it’s not there.
Any truly loving connection between two people, no matter its form, two people in love, friends, siblings, parent and child, grandparent and grandchild, can only be healthy loving for both if each person can be who they are (really are) safely with the other.