When you hear the word intimacy, what comes to mind first? Sex?
In our culture today, sex and intimacy are used interchangeably. Of course, sex on its own can be amazing. But often when people feel the need for intimacy, they think they’ll get it by having sex with someone. That can lead to a cycle of feeling rejected, unloved and insecure.
Real intimacy involves trust and emotional connection that goes way beyond the bedroom.
That kind of vulnerability can feel scary. Will you be rejected? Will you be judged if you open your heart?
So, you throw up a wall. You get defensive.
- Maybe you try to blast the other person for feelings of discomfort.
- You shift blame to someone else for whatever you’re feeling threatened about.
- You shut down or go silent.
That feels safer, right? Wrong. What’s really happening is that you’re not being intimate with the most important person –– yourself.
But what if you can’t even see that you’re putting up those protective layers?
Intimacy with yourself is the key to all the juicy, intimate relationships you want with other people.
“But Rita, what does that even mean?” you ask.
Well, for example,I see it all the time with clients. They tell me, “I love myself.” I get my nails done,” or “I gave myself a spa day.” But they can’t see how abusive they are to themselves on the daily.
- Comparing themselves to others
- People pleasing to the detriment of their own wants and needs
- Being critical of their body or talents
- Constantly overachieving to feel accepted
- Looking to others for validation by trying to create what feels like intimate experiences (but aren’t)
What if instead of looking to others for validation and intimacy, you find it in yourself?
But how do you do that –– especially when so many of your beliefs are lurking in your subconscious –– and have been since you were a child?
When I was a kid, I saw that my mom always put everyone else’s needs above her own – cooking, laundry, walking on eggshells around my dad to avoid triggering his inevitable explosions of anger, etc.
That’s the modeI I was shown (one of many) on how to exist in the world and relate to others.
So when I grew up, that’s what I unknowingly repeated with my husband, family, friends, colleagues …
- I would give until it hurt and then give some more. 🙄
- I needed to make sure everyone else was safe and happy before I could feel safe and happy. 🙃
- As a parent, I felt like I wasn’t enough no matter what I did. 🤕
- I didn’t feel secure in myself, so in romantic relationships, I chose people who were often insecure as well. 💔
Looking back, I can see what was really happening.
My relationships were suffering because I was in them – projecting my pain onto the relationship. And I didn’t even know it.
My lack of accepting other people and their emotions exactly where they were was a lack of me intimately knowing myself and accepting where I was. I didn’t know how to offer myself the grace and love that I deserved cuz it had never been modeled to me.
Not until I began to do my work did I become aware of who I was and how I got here.
As I became more intimate with myself, I started to figure out what was going on inside those old subconscious beliefs that had unknowingly been hanging around since childhood.
I learned how to get rid of all the must do’s, the should do’s, and supposed to’s I had carried around all my life.
It took being honest and truthful with myself. And that took courage.
- But I learned to give myself the love that I was seeking from others.
- I learned how to have my own back.
- I began to see what it means to have healthy boundaries.
Yes, the path was excruciatingly painful and difficult at times, especially at first.
It’s not what I was taught. I hadn’t done it before.
But when I began to see the life-altering in-the-best-way-possible impact it had on my life and relationships, I was astounded and wanted even more.
Real self intimacy is dedication to your well-being – mentally, physically, and emotionally.
When you’re intimate with yourself, you become aware of your own feelings, care about those feelings, and, as inspired, feel safe to share them with others.
That takes being honest and truthful with yourself.
Otherwise, your life is being owned by societal beliefs –– what you’ve been told about how you should feel, how you should think, what you should do. You don’t even know whether those stories and beliefs fit you.
After high school, my dad strongly suggested that I go into a double major of computer science and accounting. “That’s where the money is,” he said. And so I did. But while I loved the people, I hated the work.
It took some real soul searching for me to see that I didn’t give a shit about data and accounting systems. But that experience in itself taught me that connections and supporting people was exactly what made my heart sing. That was an intimate experience with myself. And it changed my career path forever.
Being intimate with yourself is a way to figure out what’s going on inside those old subconscious beliefs. If you like them, keep them. If not, then what?
I once heard someone say that deep intimacy is being with someone in their “their-ness.”
The same goes for yourself.
To be intimate with yourself, you have to be with yourself in your one-ness –– all that is you.
- have your own back
- know what it means to have healthy boundaries
- make sure that self care is happening on the regular
- get comfortable in your own skin simply being you in a way you’ve never experienced before
If you don’t intimately know what you want and need, how will someone else satisfy you in a relationship? Pssst. They won’t. 😂
Here are some ways you can be more intimate with yourself, mentally, emotionally and physically:
Mentally: Think about how you talk to yourself.
What thoughts do you have about your life? Yourself? Your body? Your family?
Do you constantly call yourself stupid or think other people are prettier, smarter, or better than you?
When you don’t get that promotion, do you blame yourself?
Do your thoughts, beliefs, and feelings about yourself reflect loving kindness and a full-on complete acceptance of yourself?
Emotionally: Do you welcome your emotions – all of them?
Do you ever make yourself wrong for feeling what you feel? When you don’t meet your feelings, when you suppress, repress and depress them, they come out in really ugly ways.
For example, you unknowingly deny yourself all over the place and then explode because you finally go into the bathroom at the end of the day and see the huge piece of spinach on your front tooth. And no one F-ing told you.
The explosion doesn’t match what happened. But it makes complete sense because you’ve been denying and penting up the emotions for so long that they need to come out in some way. 🤷🏻♀️
Ask yourself, what emotions keep tripping you up? Why? What feelings are you avoiding and why? Those messy emotions and feelings are showing you exactly what’s up for you to heal.
Physically: Intimacy is befriending your body and listening to what you truly need (without making it wrong)
According to Master Lin of Spring Forest Qigong, 80% of illness and disease is directly impacted by how your body holds emotions.
Your body does a magnificent job compensating for all the stored pain of messy emotions you’ve innocently never been able to process and other shit it’s been put through – until it can’t anymore. Then you feel the impact of cancer, or an autoimmune disease, or _______________.
Think about a specific relationship. Does your body contract when you think about your father, mother, partner, colleague? In contrast, does it open when you imagine snuggling with and petting your dog’s soft ears?
Creating a safe space for your body to heal is key to living a healthy and vibrant life. Yes, movement, the food you eat, etc. is important to giving your body what it needs. But it’s also essential to address stuck emotions or trauma you experienced in your past. You have to process those emotions to heal.
The good news is your body knows exactly what it needs to do to heal naturally.
The first step to receiving even more love is learning to love yourself more deeply.
That includes the past versions of yourself.
You know, that little girl who never felt safe to show her emotions? She’s still there, wanting to feel safe, loved, and valued.
Or that little boy whose anger still erupts when he feels criticized (like his dad would do when he didn’t man up –– whatever the hell that means)? He’s still there, wanting to feel safe, loved and valued.
You learn to love yourself – and your relationships – by becoming aware of who you are and how you got here.
That’s intimacy with self. And it’s the key to 🔥🔥🔥 with the relationships in your life.
So dig in and get to know yourself even more. You’re worth it.
Come experience how getting more intimate with yourself changes everything. Join the online women’s group, Journey to Your Center. Choose live monthly sessions with Rita and a supportive group of women. Or jumpstart your healing journey with my self-paced program – The Essentials.
With either program, you’ll find hours of frequently updated content –– powerful tools, videos, meditations, energy transmissions, and coaching to help you hone your skills and change your life –– all in the freaking best way possible. ❤️🤯❤️
Each month you’ll receive a new topic designed to help you uncover your blocks and blow through them.
You deserve to face the shit that’s bothering you and to be FULLY seen for the love that you are, so you can finally see it for yourself. That’s what we do here with #TeamLove and it’s absolutely magical. Don’t wait another day. I’ve got you. Learn more and apply here. 💖