The Journey Toward True Intimacy

We all have the hope, desire, and belief that prince or princess charming will sweep us off our feet and we will be happy ever after. My experience in dialog and in relationships should have convinced me otherwise, but it is still an addictive thought. Like all our experiences, there is a method to our madness. Each fantasy can lead us along our journey of self exploration and growth. Relationship is an amazing opportunity to receive love, affection and caring in our lives. We can also become more conscious of who we truly are by seeing our internal beliefs mirrored in the dynamics of the relationship.

The willingness to face the demons that we experience in long term relationships help us to develop authentic intimacy. I often begin with an attraction, and then develop fantasies around that attraction. I project my fantasies on to my partner. At some point I become disappointed because of my projections. I become afraid of getting hurt, and I respond by
protecting myself.

These defensive behaviors can include; distancing, raging, guilt tripping, addiction, anger, judgement, playing victim, blaming, etc. Do you recognize any of these? When my partner and I are defensive, we lose our ability to connect and to see each other clearly. Our worst fears about how we can be hurt
become a reality.

This moment is my opportunity to choose to practice consciousness. I can open my heart fearlessly and let go of my defensive stance, even if I do this alone. If I am willing to face the pain of my internal wounds and face the beliefs I carry about how I will be hurt, then I am more capable of making clear choices in my life.

When I let go of fear and attachment, I am more able to be present. As I find the courage to follow my heart, I take actions that are empowering rather than protective. I can create the trust that comes from within myself, rather than rely upon the actions of my partner.

Then I am free to truly love.

by Janet Bychek, MSW, LCSW

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