Ten Practices to Enhance Intimacy – #1 Tell The Truth
The practice of truth-telling is the greatest intimacy enhancer I have found. All blocks to true communion with another come from un-truth. Un-truth is the root of all suffering. All of it.
The only place I can meet my beloved is in the present moment.
The only place I can live any of my life is in the present moment.
In order to be in the present moment I need to accept the way things are right now. Within me and in the world outside of me. This is truth.
You and I have been conditioned into the un-truth. Starting as soon as we were born we began to get clear signals that much of what we felt and wanted wasn’t acceptable to others. So we began to distance ourselves from the truth of the moment and put on a mask and play a role in hopes we would find love. The tragedy is that we separated from ourselves and we spend the rest of our life trying to get back home. But home is not out there, it is within us.
Sound familiar? This childhood pattern plays out most clearly in our intimate relationships. We constantly edit and filter and cloak and dissemble and exaggerate and underplay and omit in hopes that the facade we project will be approved of. Looking for home. What’s more, we repeat the same conditioning and expect it of our partners. We would rather they be who we want them to be rather than who they are. We choose lies without even knowing it. Without exception, this conditioning destroys intimacy and ends relationships.
For example, to pick something obvious, I am sometimes attracted to people other than my partner. You are too. So is your partner. Does that mean that monogamy is destined to fail? No. But if it is to succeed it means I had better a) tell myself the truth and b) tell my partner too and c) be willing to hear their truth as well.
Intimacy emerges from the Truth of myself contacting the Truth of another. To the extent I cut myself off from what is so for me or refuse to accept what is so for another, intimacy is impossible.
We have to bring all of us to realize the kind of intimate communion our hearts long for. Our fear, of course, is that we will be judged and rejected for who we are. That is what happened to us as children. It is a valid fear. We might be. That is possible. But what is the cost if we don’t?
To walk in a seasonless world and laugh, but not all of our laughter, and cry, but not all of our tears. – K. Gibran.
It is too great a price for me to pay. To waste my one precious life cutting myself off from the thing I want most.
I want relationship in which I get to tell my beloved, “Bring all of you. Bring it. The dark, the light, the broken, the beautiful…bring it all.” Because I most long to bring all of me. What is love for if not to welcome and embrace the parts we have long thought were unlovable?
And you know what? Those parts are there anyway. My un-truth isn’t fooling anyone. Because right there, buried in my triggers and my reactivity, my judgment and projection, are all the things I am scared of showing you. They come out as blame and shame and complaint. They come out as anxious seeking or avoidant withdrawal. I can pretend there is nothing wrong, that I don’t have any shame or pain, but that is not true. I can pretend that you are better than I am and that you don’t struggle like I do to bring all of me to life. That is a lie too. We are very similar, you and me. The truth includes all of me and all of you. The insecurity and the radiance. The gold and the shadow.
The truth sets us free.
Do you want deeper intimacy? It begins with truth. As I teach in my Empowering Intimacy Course, truth is the foundation on which intimacy is built.
I invite you to a world full of seasons, where you will laugh all of your laughter and cry all of your tears!