Perceptions of Intimacy and Vulnerability in Relationships
Some months ago I was having conversations with someone about intimacy.
One of the things he suggested to me is that I didn’t show enough vulnerability for people to really connect with me.
I took that to heart and even hurt myself with that thought.
Because it is genuinely my intention to share honestly and vulnerably whenever I share.
“How could he not see me that way?” I wondered.
Here are the hypotheses I’ve come up with so far:
1. I’m mostly fearless
Whilst many people focus on changing their circumstances in the external world to find ease in that space, I’ve spent the better part of a decade deliberately putting myself in challenging situations and finding ease inside myself within those contexts.
I’ve been diligently embodying the mantra “Om gam ganapataye namaha.” Translation: I am Ganesha (the giver and remover of all obstacles).
Still seeking ease, but I’ve just been doing it internally rather than externally.
As a byproduct of those experiments I’ve done using my life as the laboratory, I’ve developed a high level of both self esteem and self efficacy in areas that are important to me.
So because most people associate vulnerability with fear, and I don’t have heaps of that. I’m perceived as not sharing vulnerably.
Of course I still experience fear. We all have fear. But it doesn’t strike me that often, relative to my younger self and to others I suppose.
Many of the things others worry about (and indeed all stuff I fretted about once too) – money, sickness, loss of loved ones – these things don’t really seem to phase me anymore.
My trust factor is just so high. Which brings me to my next point:
2. I’m very faithful
Albert Einstein is quoted as saying “The most important decision we make is whether we believe we live in a friendly or hostile universe.”
One of my friends shared this concept with me:
Life only gives us 3 answers:
- Not yet
- I have something better
It resonated deeply. I realised that in place of the fear I once had is an unshakeable faith in Life itself.
Not only do I believe in myself and my capacities, I believe that Life is looking after me. I know we’re never not being guided, and I’m committed to continuing tuning my instrument accordingly.
3. I’m fairly clean
Beyond my connection with the Divine, I’m not attached to much else. The combination of both 1&2 has resulted in a way of being which is easy to project upon.
Projecting is how our unconscious cues us to the places where there is some misalignment between self image (ego) and true Self (inner being).
The thinner the self image and stronger the connection with the inner being, the more quickly we can see ourselves. Because I’m an easy screen for other people to project upon, it is more challenging for them to discern what is ‘theirs’ and what is ‘mine’. So when someone has issues with vulnerability and intimacy, of course they’ll perceive it over here in me.
In yesterday’s episode of enLIGHTen UP (YouTube livestream on the intrinsic brilliance channel) I spoke of how rare it is for me to get useful feedback because of this. Which is why I appreciate the Clean Feedback Model (I share it in the video).
Anyhow, that’s all I’ve come up with so far. I’m open to other theories though. Care to share what you see?
My findings are that true intimacy cannot actually be achieved with someone who doesn’t already have profound intimacy with their Self. A lesson I’ve learned before in previous relationships, but had forgotten, so it was an important reminder for me.