A lot of folks, including me, get trapped into thinking that intimacy equals closeness. But if any of us are paying attention to ourselves, we see the setup in that. If we see intimacy through this perspective, we spend vast amounts of energy denying, rejecting, or judging ourselves around our need for space and separateness. Some of us might even become co-dependent or emotionally fused with our partner in our denial of this fundamental need. Instead of this kind of one-sided intimacy, let’s embrace the other side—separateness. Then ask ourselves, “How to I accept these seemingly contradictory energies at the same time, rather than pretend to be all about closeness?” It is critical, if we want long-term, vibrant intimacy, that we heed the words of Bruce Tift and come to know and accept intimacy as a balancing act between separateness and closeness.
April 23, 2013
I’m aware of some new dads who are in quite the bind. On the one hand, they are devoted to their family. They love their family. So much so, that they work very hard to “provide” a good income and stability for their family. But then, at the very same time, they also feel pressure to be home more—more involved, and more available to their kids. So they bust their ass at their job all day, then “work hard” trying to be a good dad at home. They come home, take over, and might be “on” until after bedtime. Then they are “on” on weekends. They feel pressure on both fronts to show up big. On top of these two, they might also want to be a “good” husband and really be there for their partner with the limited time left. Oh yeah, if there’s any space left, he probably wants space for himself by getting some quality personal time, time to check out, or whatever (notice how this is very last). Pretty soon, this dad is pulled in a number of directions.
The “good guy” heroic personality-types [...]
April 21, 2013
Wow. This feels vulnerable…
Sex is a crucible. It has always been a very confronting domain for me. I face my brightest light and my darkest shadow. I (somewhat) successfully avoided going deeper sexually for years because: 1) shame, 2) lack of self/body awareness, 3) wounds and cluelessness, and, 4) I always stayed in short term relationships where I would bail when 1-3 happened or when insecurity or inadequacy surfaced.
In more recent years, as I continue to awaken my sexuality at a deeper level, more opens up for me. I see how, as a man, I bought into my conditioning to perform, please her, or get it right. This approach to sex of course, stops the natural, divine flow of [...]
April 13, 2013
“I’d like to say something to her without her freaking out.”
Why’s her reaction a problem? What’s wrong with your partner freaking out?
Most folks have it that the reason they hold back their truth in relationship is because their partner can’t handle it or will get too upset. Sorry folks, but the main reason many of us hold back is that we are afraid. Afraid of what? A few things, but mainly our reaction to their reaction. We are afraid of our own stuff that gets triggered when they get triggered. This is the enmeshed stance in relationship. “I can’t be me because I might upset you, so I’ll protect myself and withhold what I really want to say.” Meanwhile I rob them the opportunity to grow by not saying anything. So what if the other person gets upset? That is their problem, not yours (and, if we are on it, we can make space for their reactivity and love them through it). We have to learn how to be smarter and more courageous than this in relationship, especially if we care about being who we truly are, and especially if we really do love the other person. Let’s give them a chance and trust they can handle who we are. If they can’t, perhaps it’s time to move on.