The last few years I have been in a constant state of motion, even more so than I normally am. My father developed cancer and passed away. My husband of 11 years asked for a divorce soon after my Father’s passing. He felt disconnected from me and wanted more than I was giving. We were both unhappy in our marriage and didn’t know how to make it work anymore. I had been traveling extensively, both to facilitate and take classes, as well as to be with my Father and other family. I stopped and counted recently and in the last 22 months I had taken 25 classes and facilitated 22. I kept going and going and going. I think it was a great way to avoid the pain of my Father’s passing and separation from my husband. After all, as an infinite being, I would choose to be sad and grieving for what reason? I made myself wrong for all the negative feelings I was having, so I kept moving. (That way I could be aware and enlightened. Silly me.)
Well, even when I’m not being smart, my Body and Being are pretty damn smart and I got very ill. So ill, that moving from the bed to the couch was a huge accomplishment. Then, I had a reaction to one of my medications and I got even worse. The pain and discomfort were pretty bad before and now they were almost intolerable. It was NOT a fun time for me.
I’m an avid reader and I was even too tired to read or even listen to music or classes. I slept most of the time. I’m not sure when, but at some point, the word intimacy popped into my head. It started me on the path to remember Gary talking about the five key elements of intimacy in one of his classes. I remember thinking: “Well, I don’t even have those with me. How can I possibly create that with someone else?” Ahh, a question. So my journey into the five keys of intimacy with me began. This journey would take place as I lay in bed and didn’t ‘do’ anything.
What would it take for me to have the five key elements of intimacy with me? What are they and what do they mean?
- Honor: To treat myself with regard.
- Trust: To know that I am going to be the way I’m going to be.
- Vulnerability: No walls up to myself, looking at me, the good, the bad, the ugly and everything in between.
- Allowance: No judgment of me no matter who or what I’m being.
- Gratitude: Being thankful for my life and living, no matter how it is showing up. (Including lying in bed too exhausted and in too much pain to do anything but be still.)
I am grateful that my Body and Being chose to get so ill. I know I would not have taken the time to explore intimacy if I were my usual busy active self. Being still is not something I do well or for long. I’m constantly in motion. Even while sitting, I’m tapping my foot, moving my leg or shifting my weight around. This enforced stillness allowed me to grow, to grieve, to be without any of the should’s or have to’s because quite frankly I couldn’t go into the should’s or have too’s because I was too damn sick and tired. I just didn’t have the energy. (Hmm, how much energy do we use to do this to ourselves?)
What I discovered in this process is that when I allow myself this type of intimacy, I can be in pain and that’s okay. I can still have joy and gratitude. I can be truly in allowance of me and grateful, no matter what circumstances I am in. When I am in allowance and grateful with myself, I can’t help but be vulnerable, trusting and honoring of me. When I allow myself to be thankful and not judge me, everything else falls into place. What if there is nothing wrong with being sick? What if I can be grateful for the gift of stillness? What if there is nothing here that needs to be fixed? What if even in this moment I can be grateful. Grateful for my life, for the people who are showing up to help care for me, for the people who know to stay away, for the quiet to get to know me.
When I recovered, I was amazed at how different the people around me appeared to be. I started to be able to both give and receive more kindness, more caring, simply more. I was so excited that I had the impulse to share this with everyone--only I didn’t have the words yet. It was all still new and I felt as if every cell in my body had changed: a butterfly emerging from a cocoon. I was so alive with the possibilities of intimacy. The awesome, amazing thing is that this is only the beginning. I’ve just scratched the surface of intimacy with me and there is so much here for me.
In this space of intimacy with me, the level of intimacy I have been able to have with others has increased exponentially. My ability to be in total allowance with no judgment of others has been a huge gift to myself and the people in my life. What if there is nothing about them worthy of judgment? I can just be grateful for who they are. There is a stillness and ease for all of us. Being grateful for others, with no judgment, allows me to trust and honor them without any barriers between us. These are the keys of intimacy; honor, trust, vulnerability, allowance and gratitude. It’s the beginning of communion. It shows us all what is possible. I wonder what kind of world we could create if we all choose to be intimate with ourselves first, so we can have it with those around us? The thought of this makes me smile… so I’m sure it will be pretty amazing!