Sometimes, the very thing we crave the most, is the thing we work the hardest to avoid.
We don’t mean to, of course. But sometimes our nature gets in the way. After 15 years of working with people in the privacy of my office, I’ve learned that human intimacy is one thing that is often missing from people’s relationships. I believe that we all wanted to be close, to feel appreciated and to show love. It is our intention to love and be loved, but the noise and the static of life get in the way, and we end up pushing away the intimacy we long for.
Instead of saying, “I miss you and I want to spend time with you,” we say, “Well, it’s about time you get home. Don’t you ever look at your watch?”
We sometimes let pride and ego and defensiveness get in the way of true love. It doesn’t have to be this way. We can learn to love with our whole hearts. We can learn to receive love with full trust. Even though intimacy doesn’t come easily or naturally to us, we can learn it.
Here are the Facts about Intimacy:
- Fact #1 Every person needs the Vital Three: to Be Seen, Known, and Accepted Unconditionally.
- Fact #2 If the Vital Three needs are not met, Soul-Holes grow.
- Fact #3 Soul-Holes attract Users, Losers and Abusers that result in deeper Holes.
- Fact #4 Soul-Holes fill by being Seen, Known and Accepted Unconditionally.
- Fact #5 Filling Soul Holes starts with you.
These things may sound simple, but what do they really mean? Being seen is to be valued as a unique and separate individual. Being known is to be understood and intimately trusted with the exchange of emotional valuables. To be accepted unconditionally means to be authentically loved. Soul Holes are explained as natural consequences to imperfect human love and behavior. Soul Holes occur in everyone, and attract the wrong sort of love. But Soul Holes can be filled and the Vital Three can be satisfied by routine Soul Exercise REPS found in the bible.
· Restore order through boundaries: saying no to others, and yes to yourself is often a good start for reclaiming peace. This practice helps us examine, know and validate Vital Three. (Titus 2:12, James 4:4, Proverbs 4:23)
· Experience God through journaling, dependence prayers and going to where people are talking about Him. By doing these things, God is invited to meet the Vital Three beyond which we are capable in and of ourselves. (2 Cor 5:21, Proverbs 3:32)
· Provide yourself with safe people: The action of sharing vulnerably with others, and allowing others to share with us, fortifies our Souls and fills the Holes. (1 Cor 14:26, Eph 3:18)
· Seek Intimacy means knowing and expressing your feelings in non-accusatory language, sharing weaknesses, fears, and vulnerabilities without fear of judgment or control, and validating your partner’s experiences and feelings without judging, controlling or taking them personally. (Proverbs 25:11, Proverbs 16:21, Ecclesiastes 9:17)
I boiled these concepts down to their bare essence here in this blog post, but each point can be considered separately and at length. And, by the way, each point takes YEARS to implement! I feel like I have strong intimacy with some relationships in my life, and then there are others that are still developing because… well, I’m a slow on the uptake sometimes.
Sometimes my fears get in the way. My insecurities whisper warnings of danger. My controlling nature grips me so tightly that I mess things up.
Trust God to lead you into greater intimacy with him and with other people in His perfect timing. As you practice SEEING YOURSELF as valuable, KNOWING YOURSELF deeply, and OFFERING YOURSELF UNCONDITIONAL ACCEPTANCE, you will have the strength to attach intimately with others. As we connect with ourselves, we can connect to others. This process, when surrendered to God, can be the beginning of something new for you. The process is always worth it.