Emotional IntimacyBy Dr. Margaret Paul
August 11, 2008
Do you have emotional intimacy in your life? Discover what it is, and what it is not.
There is a huge difference between people wanting to get love, intimacy and connection, and wanting to share love, which can happen only when they are each filled with the love from Spirit that comes from taking full responsibility for themselves and doing their inner work. Out of their inner connection and their ability to share love with others comes the fun, the learning, the growth, and the creativity.
Emotional intimacy can also occur when people are open and vulnerable enough to share their fears, pain, and challenges. However, sometimes people get addicted to experiencing emotional intimacy through the sharing of their woundedness, rather than the sharing of their passions, fun, creativity, learning, and joy. While sharing pain can be an important part of a relationship, when it is the only way people experience intimacy, the relationship becomes codependent and dysfunctional.
True intimacy in a relationship comes from a deep commitment with oneself and one's partner to kindness, compassion, presence, integrity, the intent to learn, responsibility for self, and faith in one's own and the other's essential goodness. It is the sweet, comfortable, light, safe feeling that comes from knowing that neither of us is making the other responsible for us in any way - that both of us are fully present with ourselves, with each other, and with Spirit.
Emotional intimacy is the natural outgrowth of developing intimacy with ourselves and our Higher Power. The more inner work we do to heal our fears and beliefs that limit us and learn to be open and honest with ourselves, the more open and authentic we will be with others.
Practicing the Inner Bonding process is a powerful way of developing this intimacy with ourselves and with our partner. Through the daily practice of learning to take full responsibility for our own feelings and needs, we gradually heal our fears and the limiting beliefs that cause our fears of being open, honest and transparent with others. Emotional intimacy is the outgrowth of your devotion to your own inner work.
Emotional intimacy is what takes away loneliness. We may feel lonely when we are alone, and equally lonely when with another or others who are focused in their heads instead of in their hearts. Our western civilization has stressed intellect much more than heart-centered feelings, which is why we are such a lonely society. Our loneliness goes away only when we are able to share our laughter, fun, joy, creativity, honesty, insights, and love with each other. When we are with people who are in their heads rather than their hearts, we may get stuck sharing our woundedness and our complaints, instead of being in the loving creative flow with each other that signifies true emotional intimacy.
Emotional intimacy feeds the heart and soul. Without it in our lives, we will always feel that something is missing. We can learn to connect deeply with ourselves and with our spiritual guidance, but we are social beings, and the sharing of love is the highest, most satisfying experience in life.
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What nurtures you? Do you feel nurtured by being out in nature? By doing something creative? By sitting quietly and listening to music or reading or watching a movie? By being with caring friends? By being physically active - hiking, playing a sport, or gardening? By meditating, journaling, practicing Inner Bonding? By playing fun games? By playing a musical instrument? Today, be sure to create balance in your life by nurturing yourself.
By Dr. Margaret Paul