Opening up to Intimacy
We as humans, being the social creatures we are have an inherent desire to connect with one another. Many people call this intimacy. Intimacy can be defined as an emotional, physical or spiritual connection to another.
Based on your upbringing you may naturally strive towards or run away from intimacy. Typical issues that manifest in people avoiding intimacy include, fear of being abandoned, fear of being engulfed, fear of losing your freedom and autonomy, fear of being betrayed and so on.
Some unconscious ways a fear of intimacy manifests may be substance addictions, workaholism, sex addiction, distractive behaviors such as TV binge watching etc - various ways of avoiding connection to oneself and others.
In reality it is possible to be completely intimate with strangers and friends and also possible to be completely not intimate during relationships and during sex.
Intimacy is closely tied in to vulnerability and allowing yourself to be seen and seeing another. It is a loving touch, or a listening ear that radiates compassion and reminds us of our human connection with each other.
Our current social norms tend towards a lack of intimacy, as it is discouraged to touch (touch is seen as sexual) and in our daily professional lives we are required to act with a persona that does not express the real Self, which yearns to be seen and integrated as a whole.
The importance of touch cannot be underestimated as various scientific studies have shown how drastically touch increases our happiness by lowering stress hormones and releasing feel good hormones that give us encouragement, trust, joy and relaxation. There is even a study that proved the NBA teams that touched the most (pats, hugs etc) won the most games!
To open up to intimacy, we must abandon only our fears and past projections that we bring with us into the present. Forgiveness of everything that once happened and seeing the world with new eyes. When we are completely ok with our real Self then we no longer hide from showing it to and sharing it with others.