Perhaps it’s just the current state of my emotions talking, but I’m more and more convinced that the human condition is marked by a need for and/or a desire for meaningful intimacy. We’ve perverted this idea in such a way that the sexual connotations are usually the first to our minds – and while that’s an aspect of what we’re looking for – the crux of what we’re trying to find is summed up in word “meaningful.”
Over the past few years now, I’ve found myself at a place in life where the relationships that I have with others are incredibly important to me. Essentially, this is because they’re real and relationships I’ve had in my past have been fabricated. In much the same way that I often say I don’t have the tool-set for “thing x” I feel like much of my life was filled with relationships that were generally assumed, if not forced. But now I am at a place where the pursuit of others is quite possibly the result of some passion that has laid dormant for a long, long time.
I’m learning about the redemptive power of intimacy.
Some people call it vulnerability. We say that when we’re comfortable in a relationship or confident in the confines of a conversation that we’re willing to be vulnerable and let the true self out. It’s the “My name is Desmond, and I’m an alcoholic” scene that we’re all familiar with. It’s the “I have something to tell you” statement of guilt or the “I think we’re having another baby!” celebration. We long to share these moments with real, living bodies. To be vulnerable is to share emotional intimacy.
Not too long ago I shared on Facebook that I wanted to hug more (I think I’ve done well with that – sometimes with mixed results from people who aren’t expecting it, but I’m on a mission). It’s because I’m some freak (… it’s not JUST because I’m some freak…). There is some part of me that just wants to love on my friends. I want to share this close, intimate moment. I will resist becoming the sort of person, lost in a culture where, as one foreign visitor said when observing a busy city street, “Nobody here touches. No one smiles.”
Sharing these moments is only good for our collective psyches. This closeness, this inherent trust only serves to strengthen already important and valuable relationships. Recently, my friend of nearly 10 years and I realized that we both were dealing with a similar issue, because of a similar past, and we’ve been able to commit to collectively making things better. Because we were vulnerable.
I would love to redeem the concept of intimacy. I would love to rescue it from just being about sex and to make it about sharing the celebrations and disappointments of life together, wading through the bad times and dancing through the good. (Even as I’m writing this, I’m wondering how people are going to take it!). There is great value in the deep, spiritual, emotional connections that we make with others.
So, if we cross paths and I pull you in for a bear hug or spill my guts about something…. it’s not because I’m some sort of freak.