Thursday, August 22, 2013

The excruciating gift of intimacy

If you choose intimate relationship as the crucible for your own awakening and healing, you extend an open invitation to everything that is unresolved within you to come to the surface – to show you in excruciating detail those areas of your heart that have been numbed and abandoned, and are now calling for your love, attention, and awareness. There are parts of you that have been crying out for your holding for so many years now; it is your beloved that will reveal these to you.

The beloved, like no other, will take you right into the unknown. She will root out all of your hiding places and reveal your nakedness. She will show you that even those most scary and disturbing parts of yourself are pathways home. This is her gift to you.

It can be helpful to look into each of your relationships to start to see the landscape of the (unconscious) agreements you’ve made with “the other” to avoid the experience of too much exposure, vulnerability, and uncertainty. It is quite natural to unconsciously start to define a “good” relationship or a “great” partner or “my one and only soul mate” as one who doesn’t really question these agreements, and who supports your enacting of the survival mechanisms which arose in your early environment. It doesn’t take much – just a few words or not returning a phone call or a particular glance or some apparent distance or simply seeing how your needs are just not getting met – and you are raw, tender, vulnerable, unprotected, and unsure; the ground has fallen away. The beloved has arrived, bearing gifts from beyond.

The survival-level panic comes rushing in, the anxiety has returned, confusion has filled the space between. Where did the beloved go? Where is the love? Am I safe? I have given so much; will I be met?

This is the opportunity of a lifetime, to metabolize that which the beloved has activated. By entering the unknown with your beloved, by stepping into the groundlessness together, you will meet these orphaned pieces of your own heart. They only want one moment of your holding, your care, and your touch. Be naked, be willing to fall apart, be willing to break open, take the risk that love always demands! Let love take you apart and put you back together again, over and over.

Love is not safe. The beloved’s touch is the end of your world. There is nowhere to hide for you have now come to see that your heart is everywhere! You will always be touched, you will care so deeply, you will remain vulnerable forever to the transformative movement of love. You are left as a transparent vessel through which love can pour out into this universe, reorienting everything it touches; everything that is less-than-whole within is burning away, friends, and the beloved is revealing your translucence. 


  1. Wow.. This is touching me so deeply... I am reading this as I am feeling exactly this raw vulnerability in my life and wondering why I am breaking apart... I thought it was a personal "defect" somehow, but now I begin to understand that this is the only natural way of experiencing love on this plane... So grateful for your loving words!

    1. Dear Kerstin, it's nice to hear from you and thank you for sharing a bit of your heart here. In my experience, there is such a profound bias in our culture toward the light and away from the darkness. When we meet with a friend who is depressed, introverted, shut down, or otherwise not beaming and joyful, we become quite convinced, quite quickly, that something is wrong. We scramble to put them back together, to remind them of all the gifts in their life, to let them know everything will be better soon. Of course this is natural. But much of this also arises out of our own discomfort and anxiety around the darkness, and all that is unresolved within us. Perhaps as little ones it was not safe to feel these feelings, not to mention express them.
      It is possible the kindest thing we can offer to our precious friend is to sit in the darkness to-gether, so that they know that we are fully here with them; we do not need to remove them from the darkness, we do not need them to “heal,” “transform,” be happy or awaken - we will love them as they are. We resist the temptation to project our unlived life upon them.

      Love is the totality, it is whole, it is raging and alive in the darkness, shining brightly in its own way. Within this darkness, this sadness, this grief, this existential aloneness is something very real, breaking through the dream of partiality. There is a richness here, something is happening, but what that is does not support conventional egoic process; nor does it support our cultural fantasy of a life of invulnerability. Here, everything is alive, everything is path, and everything is God. God is not only the joy and sweetness, but comes at times as the darkness and the difficult to reorder your world. We can hold hands with our friend and look at the darkness together and finally see what it has to say.

      Take care, my friend. love, matt