Thursday, October 29, 2015

Intimacy as the most immediate path

When we commit to intimacy as path, part of the agreement is that we will inevitably feel feelings that we would ordinarily be able to avoid. We are so resourceful and can almost always find a way to elude the raw, naked disrobing of the beloved and his or her ways. Rather than shame ourselves for this, perhaps we could honor the infinitely creative and intelligent aspects of the psyche to protect us from the wholesale unraveling of the world as we have known it.

In the fiery crucible of intimacy, there are no longer any secret trap doors in the back of the room through which we can exit. There is always a slight rawness inside, an unbearable sense of aliveness, knowing that at any moment just one glance from the beloved, in whatever form she chooses to take, could trigger a tidal wave of feelings and surging vulnerabilities. While it may be tempting to view this eruption as evidence that something has gone wrong and that we have failed, we could rewrite this timeworn narrative and replace it with something much vaster.

It is so tempting to blame the avalanche of the emotional world on the ‘other,’ and in subtle ways place the burden of our unlived lives upon them. But the other is just being himself. He is not doing anything ‘to’ us, but serving as the alchemical gatekeeper of the unmetabolized guests of the somatic landscape. What a painful situation. What a miracle of outrageous grace.

Perhaps intimacy may always be the most difficult and the most immediate path, requiring everything we have to navigate. In ways beyond the confines of the known, it may always demand a raging willingness to be exposed, to take the risk of allowing another to deeply matter to us, and to fall apart and come back together in the wide open, groundless, shimmering reality of love.

From one perspective, this path offers nothing… but in this ‘nothing’ everything is revealed.

Photographer unknown