On the Fear of Intimacy

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.

Marty & Sheila (a divertimento in the key of dialogue)

  • No, Sheila, it’s not that. I want to know for a couple a reasons.
  • More than a couple.
  • No doubt, no doubt. I just need to know if I am the only one in this experience. Think of it as an alignment thing. If I’m out here standing on a rock by myself, having this experience, okay. I’m not worried about me, per se, but it’d be helpful if I could understand how I got standing on this rock by myself. I’m in my sixties. The mind can go, you know. I’d like to try to keep mine in the front yard. If I’m not standing alone on the rock, or you’re in sight of it, how do you explain this?
  • We’re friends, close friends. What kind of rock is it? Is it a nice rock?

Write a love story: a word sketch

She told me to write a love story. Those were her exact words. She said, “You should write a love story.” Visions of sickening sugary romance novels sprung to mind and I got a case of the horrors. “No way!” I exclaimed. Her face shrugged. She said nothing. I got to thinking about it. A love story. A story about love, two people falling in love. Fuck. She had a point. Romance novels? So what? And then, she took us to an even deeper and joyous level of wonder. She said, “Write our love story.”