Intimacy and I – Do we know our most intimate being?

Privacy; a word that is often used when talking about someone with whom we experience intimacy or with whom we feel intimately connected.

My Latin dictionary told me this. Intimacy comes from intimatemeaning inside gold deepergold deeper, More reliable. Obviously we can use that to describe our relationship with another person. But what about our relationship with ourselves? Are we familiar with our innermost being? In other words: how is our level of intimacy with ourselves?

When I look at people in general and my clients in particular, I don’t find many who are intimately connected to themselves. In fact, many of us do almost anything to not let that happen! We distract ourselves from our “inner” feelings by being busy. Busy doing things, thinking things, doing things, buying things, seeing things, listening to things, etc. Anything to not FEEL what’s going on inside – literally.

There is a strong link between our thoughts and our bodies around what is good and what is bad. Our brains translate strong thoughts about good and evil into a physical sensation; this is called “coemergence.” Some we know well: the hole in the stomach; the tense muscles of our shoulders; the sensation of choking in the throat; the start of the heart, etc. All strong “implicative” thoughts have their co-emergent body sensation. That’s fine for those who make us feel good; not so good for those who don’t, and there are plenty of those.

The moment we return to our own implicative (negative) thoughts and co-emergent bodily sensations, we feel uncomfortable and want to get rid of that discomfort. Similarly: we like implicative (positive) thoughts and their bodily sensations, and we become addicted to feeling that way. This leads to an endless cycle of chasing pleasure and avoiding pain, and leads to less and less intimacy. Our lives become more and more “external”; and we become more and more unhappy.

The solution is simple, but not always easy: be more aware of your insidehis deeperyou more privacy. This is the mindfulness process, where we learn to accept our current situation with awareness. Awareness of the fact that thoughts are just thoughts, and not necessarily the truth. Awareness of the fact that all feelings come and go, and everything in life is impermanent. And awareness that we can be at peace in the midst of all that, a state called equanimity.

Inner peace is the most intimate connection you can have with yourself, a connection that will radiate outward and affect everyone and everything around you. Intimacy with yourself will lead you to a life of peace and joy. And since this is a learned skill, it is available to everyone.

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