I once heard a re-defined way of thinking about the word intimacy - In To Me See. I remember being so struck with sadness at first, because it was clear to me that I had never really experienced this version of the word within a partnership.
I remember my therapist gifting me this idea several years ago while in the thick of working through just how maladaptive my thinking had become over many years of toxicity. She helped me understand that sometimes a person “just can’t.” This was counterintuitive to me, especially after being taught never to give up; to just keep going and to push forward. But she was right, and the thought has been distilled down even further since that time. Sometimes a person “just can’t” because they hate themselves. Sometimes a person “just can’t” because the pain of being honest and change is so scary, they dance down the road of addiction and self-sabotage. Sometimes a person lights a fire on their entire life and “just can’t” bring themselves to apologize for all the harm and hurt their behavior caused due to the depths of their shame. They “just can’t.” And - where a person “just can’t” is their stuff - not your stuff and is therefore not an accurate portrayal, description or even remote insight in to you. It’s projection and grasping for control where control was never supposed to exist.
But here’s the thing - I 100% believe that each and every person on this planet is deserving and worthy of abundant and exquisite love; even me. When someone willingly speaks their truth to you, they are giving you the gift of insight and vulnerability. And when this is reciprocal, a bond that is wholehearted and healthy has room to grow into that light. That’s active healing and intimacy, and if we strengthen those muscles through practice, we are legitimately free to give and receive love. That's yoga in action.