Does relational intimacy scare you? Do you feel disconnected and lonely but afraid to step outside of your comfort enough to be vulnerable, reveal yourself, and ultimately connect with others?
I often wonder what can make this so hard for me and possibly you too. I was reminded of some of the answers to this when I was recently reading an essay by Kay Leigh Hagan from her book: The Wilderness of Intimacy: Control and Connection I love what she wrote here:
“Intimacy is not a candlelit dinner for two. It cannot be contrived. Nor is it automatic, romantic, or necessarily even comfortable. Intimacy is a wilderness of sudden unpredictability, a dynamic of awareness, assertion, and courage. Intimacy occurs when I notice I am alive.”
In Circling speak I’d say that I felt her the most in this line, “ Intimacy is a Wilderness of sudden unpredictability”. Here’s what this means for me, when I reveal what’s really true to you, I have no control over your response. In fact, the thing that I want to say may even make you go away. For me, losing love is one of the biggest threats I could imagine. Why exactly would I want to put myself at that much risk?
This is a worthy question to ask that has definitely steered me away from saying the difficult truths in the past.
However, through the practice of Circling, I’ve come to learn that saying what’s true and then actively welcoming what’s next, has created more intimacy and connection than I could ever have imagined. So much so, that now I almost look forward to those moments that demand my courage and presence to speak my experience even if it may not be easy. I know that with each layer of masking or hiding that’s getting peeled away, I’m getting closer to you and in doing so, I feel seen, I see you and I feel fully alive and in the presence of love. Yes please!!!!
The word intimacy comes from the root word intimus… which means the innermost layer.
To share my innermost layer with you, I have to be willing to be vulnerable, to reveal myself and to share parts of myself that I’ve spent most of my life protecting. With time and the unconditional acceptance I’ve experienced in the practice of Circling, these protected parts of myself have been seen, heard and loved and I no longer feel the separation that hiding them can bring. Instead, I feel more connected and intimate with others as a result of revealing my innermost layers.
Circling provides a safe container and the skills to practice in the playground of intimacy. In order to share the innermost layer of myself, I first become aware of my own inner landscape and then gain the tools to articulate and share with others within a safe space.
For me, expanding on my capacity for intimacy has opened me up to intimacy not only with romantic partners but with my children, myself, my close friends as well as with life itself. When I take inventory of my relationships, I see richer, deeper and more meaningful connections and I’m grateful that my growth though Circling has allowed for this.
If reading this wakes up your desire for closeness and more meaningful relationships, come and join us in one of our upcoming trainings: https://www.circlinginstitute.com/programs/
Sovereign (Your Presence) – Berkeley, CA March 2-3, 2019
($100 discount until Feb 18th)
Immersion Getting into Relationship – Asheville, NC March 9-10, 2019
($100 discount until Feb 28th)