Absolute trust is the cornerstone for cultivating intimacy in our relationships. True intimacy is based on mutual absolute trust and requires that both people are willing to be open, vulnerable and uninhibited with each other. Moreover, we find that the more we open ourselves, the more we receive, which creates a cycle of trust, love and intimacy that continually replenishes itself.
Cultivating intimacy in our relationships requires eliminating “emotional baggage.” Most people enter into a relationship with this baggage feeling more like a trunk than a carry-on bag, and filled with all the emotions they have accumulated and never released because they haven’t felt safe enough. Creating a safe environment, we can let go of our fears and instead open ourselves to the healing energy that comes with this level of trust. If we feel uncomfortable telling someone our vulnerabilities, concerns, or desires, we need to assess the level of trust in ourselves and in the relationship. To develop true intimacy, we have to freely express ourselves without censorship and listen to the other person without judgment.
Developing a deeper intimacy with ourselves and others means taking off our protective armor, surrendering to absolute trust and allowing ourselves to communicate heart to heart. Many of us are afraid of exposing our vulnerabilities so we hide behind our identity and shut down our hearts. These barriers to intimacy are further reinforced by our difficulty with clear, truthful communication which makes us feel misunderstood or alienated. Sharing heartfelt feelings can be difficult, especially for those who tend to isolate themselves, and perceive everyone and everything as a potential threat to their survival. Reactive, they become David with a slingshot ready to slay Goliath whenever or wherever he may appear. They act this way habitually, exploding when angry and covering up our wounds through avoidance and denial. We see this with incidents of rage increasing dramatically on the road, in the workplace, and in homes among otherwise composed individuals.
To foster deeper levels of intimacy, we start by openly communicating in our relationships, revealing things that are most sensitive to us. This freedom of expression does not constitute license to hurt or demean, or use the other person as a toxic dumping ground. We have to be courteous, showing that we respect them regardless of their opinion or point of view. Interestingly, the Native American way of relationship is often depicted not as two lovers stepping out of their individual canoes into a third, but as two warriors ensuring that their canoes are connected by rainbows. Neither partner believes the other is perfect; but rather there is mutual unconditional loving acceptance of each other’s being.