I know it is such a cliche, but I AM AFRAID OF INTIMACY.
There I said it, and here is how I know it’s true. First of all, I almost always pick a fight with my husband if I know we’re probably going to have sex that night. I test him to the core and I close off my heart. God love him, he gets through to me somehow.
This is a super juicy example. I was throwing everything at him (while in bed naked): talking about summer plans, bringing up the kids’ behavior, picking my nose. All very sexy. He sat me up and made me face him eye to eye and not look away and not talk. He held my gaze and smiled at me for what seemed like an eternity (probably three minutes). I squirmed, joked, relaxed, tensed, tried to get away, laughed, made faces, etc. After I calmed down a little, he said “I just adore you.”
I was expecting (hoping for?) punishment, and instead he gave me love. Of course I burst into tears, realizing that is what I wanted to happen, but having no facility (after 19 years with this lovely man) with how to get it. I was relieved, embarrassed and romanced all at once by how many feelings his presence of love brought up in me. Yup, this is what intimacy feels like, freakin’ uncomfortable. No wonder I avoid it. I whimpered, “you NEVER say that” followed by a quick, “not that you should,” because immediately it dawned on me that I don’t want him to be affectionate and attentive. I could never blame him for the lack of that in our relationship given what a battle it was to get me to sit still for even a smidge of it. And then of course the “don’t give it a kinahara” old-world-Jew in me said to myself “don’t waste it. Too much of a good thing is definitely bad. It makes God suspicious, possibly even angry, and it is finite; it does run out. Portion out the good stuff very meagerly and slowly.”
Oy, you see what I am up against in my mind? You too? Here is why I am telling you about the psycho-drama in my head, because I know I am not alone. I want you to do a quick exercise in your imagination. Picture yourself in the comfiest bed with your chosen “one.” If you don’t have one right now, imagine the one you want. Now, imagine, he/she looks right into your eyes and says that thing you really want to hear. Then listen and watch in your imagination at what your “natural” response will be.
If you are creative and strong enough to will your mind and imagination in only a positive direction at this point (your response is to melt, say something deep, start touching etc.), then hallelujah! You are on your way to manifesting one of the most intimate nights of your life.
But if what comes up instead is any kind of mental squirm, you are in the same predicament as I am in! Don’t worry though, I can help us both. Seeing your “dark side/scared side” is always the first step to being able to mitigate its impact! In fact, just seeing your negative thinking, or “dumb-ass theories” as I like to call them, and emotional patterns, is about 90% of the battle. (So, do my exercise, and share on the blog whether it goes well or not. We’ll be happy and inspired to hear brags!) The last 10% is in practicing doing the right thing despite your mind putting up roadblocks. Face your fears and your tendencies to brat out, and sit up and look the people you love in the eye. Hold their gaze, listen to them, let them love you, find what’s right and acknowledge it.
Do what you know keeps love alive even if it’s annoying (beforehand) and even if it’s scary. I think you’ll thank me as I thanked my husband for gently compelling me to commune.
Reprinted from The Daily Love.