We are creatures that are made to give life. At every stage of our relating to others we are making choices which will either be creative and life-giving or destructive. The investment we make to create a positive, loving space is essential to our union with others.
Intimacy starts with us, for we can only be as connected with another as we are able to value and trust ourselves. We will not be able to respect or love others if we have a low estimate of our own worth. Life batters and bruises all of us, but we are meant to persist with bringing light and healing to the world. Intimacy is a hard-won reality, but it is very worthwhile.
In intimacy we are moving into our fear, for though to be intimate is a lovely idea, it isn’t a neutral space. Many are afraid of it. It is not easy to know when we can take off our masks, and so we tend to overdo it or to withdraw. This is because we come into a relational space with totally different expectations and tend not realise what either person is carrying. The reality of relationships is very different from our idealised picture. We think we know what we want, but will get hurt if we go in naively, thinking it will be easy.
Any worthwhile relationship takes time and we need to manage the speed at which we go into it. As we do this, we will know if we want it to continue or not. As we see our tendencies and failures, maybe with the insight of trusted friends, we can see where we jumped in too fast, said or did too much, or where we broke off too quickly. We will fall into our areas of wounding again and again if we don’t reflect on our past patterns and games and learn from them.
Relationships don’t need to be rushed. They can go at a pace we feel comfortable with instead of racing along ignoring the warning signs. If we take smaller steps then we won’t be so devastated if we then have to back-track. Even if this happens, it can be a positive learning experience, for we will have discovered more about ourselves and the other.