Revelation: The Ultimate Act of Intimacy
I’m going to get intimate with you.
Don’t let your pictures run away with you.
When you read the word intimate you will get your own mental image pictures of what this means to you.
Or how you imagine it.
And for many it often includes some kind of physical closeness.
Well, those visuals you have may or may not define intimacy.
It may define physical intimacy or being sexual.
But that does not mean you are being intimate.
Ask a woman.
And guys, don’t get your Calvin Klein's all in a wad.
From three decades of counseling couples, women pretty much bring up the lack of intimacy as a major concern vs. you wanting them to join you on football Sunday.
I mean, you can get intimate during football Sunday so stay with me here, Calvin.
Let me first address what beings want most in a relationship.
If you say “love” that would not be a wrong answer.
If you said, “communication,” that would also not be wrong.
But I have found couples who love their partner and are in fairly good communication, confide in me that they have trust issues with their partner.
Possibly this is what you would want most.
Surely that would not be a wrong answer either.
But think about it for a moment.
You can love someone and be in communication with them, but if there are trust issues, can you be intimate?
And that includes not just completely trusting your partner, but trusting yourself.
See, when it comes to being intimate, you’re going to have to be willing to reveal.
It could be to reveal something about yourself.
It could be something you like or dislike when you are being physical with your partner.
It could be a life-long insecurity that you are absolutely sure your partner will not truly understand, so you have kept it to yourself and never said.
If you cannot trust yourself to communicate about it, that will define your intimacy.
If you cannot trust your partner to accept it and love you unconditionally, that will define your intimacy.
So, what is this reservation clause in this unspoken contract of intimacy between you and your partner?
And it runs deep.
Let me bring my good friends Merriam-Webster in on this conversation just for a moment.
Here’s the root of where the word intimate comes from:
From Latin intimus "inmost, innermost, deepest" also used figuratively, of affections, feelings, as a noun.
It goes on to say that being intimate is basically being extremely close.
But have you been extremely close physically or sexually, and still not felt intimate?
You know, you have your attention on something you’ve never said but just ignore it while you are trying to be intimate?
If you think about it, that’s disruptive.
It’s counter-intuitive to the actual idea of intimacy.
Or maybe while trying to be intimate you sense your partner has his or her attention somewhere else?
Or even on someone else?
You know when I interview individuals they admit these things with me, but not to their partner.
Well, this kinda breaks up the party called intimacy, right?
But let’s get real here with the definition of word itself:
Wives will tell me, “I just wish Jim would open up more.”
Jim has opened up.
But not necessarily his deepest or innermost feelings.
So, wives end up rationalizing that this is now men are.
And this is just more falseness about men that lays in a lie that gets perpetuated about their participation in being intimate.
And women want to be intimate but often have issues like insecurities about themselves or their bodies. These issues are not easily talked about because they have had so many “loses” on getting listened to and understood on these issues.
They will tell me, “It’s fine, I have a good marriage anyway.”
So, the intimacy in a relationship really comes down to when you hit the “innermost and deepest” levels, and the rationalizations kick in.
You then have this kind of acceptance level between two people.
I cannot tell you how many couples (how about easily 9 out of 10) say in one breath that their marriage is good, yet when they confide in me they say they want something more.
Yet they are the difference makers.
They are the ones holding the drawbridge up so the other does not get into the castle, yet at the same time each want the intimacy of the innermost parts of being inside the castle.
So, what happens then when each partner gets to this level of the “Earth's crust” where they just cannot go deeper with each other?
We come full circle back to our friend fear.
Now, fear is a rather potent word. Most people equate it with fear of something really dangerous. Fear of heights. Fear of being robbed. Fear of things that scare the bejesus out of you in the pitch black of night.
That is one of many definitions.
But that’s not the usage for the fear couples have.
You know, like being told your going to the principal’s office.
Or, “Wait until your Dad comes home,” comes a cold admonishment from your Mom.
Apprehension is a sensory perception that ignites the adrenaline that eventually becomes fear.
You’re apprehensive about what the principal is going to lay down on you enroute to his office.
Or, WTF your dad is going to say when Mom tells him about your shenanigans.
Apprehension is fear in it’s borning stage.
“If I tell Eileen what I’m really thinking, she’ll think I am a nutjob.”
Listen up. Eileen know's you’re a nutjob.
That’s why she loves you.
That’s why she married you.
And don’t think she doesn’t know what you’re thinking.
Women are pretty much clairvoyants.
The reason why she wants you to open up more is because she knows things are brewing in that cockeyed brain of yours.
And honestly you’ll be surprised at how supportive she’ll be. Really!
So, come on Calvin!
To be fair, she may not like or necessarily agree with whatever your crazy man-brain is holding onto, but I will tell you this:
She will be over the moon you told her.
That’s the road to being real.
And an open road of being real leads to intimacy physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
It’s something shared between two beings who have wanted all of their lives to go that last mile.
To reveal something innermost.
And when that truth is revealed?
The whole landscape of the relationship changes.
Because when you have seen your partner at their most vulnerable, you have seen them naked spiritually.
That’s the final frontier.
That’s as close as you’ll get on this adventure.
And when you let down your drawbridge and they let down theirs?
There is a magic that occurs that could not occur in any other way because revelation is the ultimate act of intimacy.
Back of the apprehension and fear was trust.
Somewhere your trust was betrayed.
Your natural instinct was to put up a wall.
A protective screen.
And now when intimacy nears, there’s often a flare that is shot through your nervous system.
It’s a warning shot.
And up go your walls.
So what happens?
The wall does your bidding.
Your default setting is: Safe Mode.
This is where most marriages live the rest of their lives.
In Safe Mode.
And you know, it’s not bad. Far from it.
But it is not where you will find true intimacy.
Intimacy is letting your screens down when every cell in your nervous system shouts are you freaking kidding me?!
Intimacy is no net.
Intimacy is a dare.
It’s all those things you think it is.
It’s all those things you dream it is.
But the password to get there is revelation.
And revelation is an act of enormous courage.
So, if you want to go another layer deeper in your relationship, the next time you’re together talking in private, admire your partner for having the courage to tell you what they are willing to reveal.
It is a passport to their soul.
It is often unchartered waters.
And with no default setting to protect themselves, their protection is their trust in you.
And trust me.
When another being feels safe enough to reveal what has been sitting at the edge of the cliff of apprehension, and it has sat there for fear of being judged and you do not judge them, you have just defined what I cannot totally define here.
You have in truth defined what is the essence of being intimate.
If you communicate with trust with one another, and you grant your partner beingness with each heart pounding word they release from their soul, you will discover an intimacy and depth in your relationship you have not seen in quite some time.
Go the last mile.
The final frontier is spectacular.
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