Intimacy is one of the major aspects of any relationship. It is one of the essential ingredients for any relationships to be successful. A relationship without intimacy is like a tree without fruits. The tree in itself may be quite beautiful, but what is the use of its beauty when it has not reached fruition?
Most people in relationships try their best to be as intimate as possible with their partner, but somehow, things don’t work. Intimacy is not something that can be planned. Intimacy is a certain synchronicity that exists. It is a certain dialogue that happens in silence between two lovers. It is a certain invisible energy that engulfs two people in such a way that they are no longer two.
All of this may sound beautiful and too good to be true. Certainly, intimacy is a hoax for those who have not understood what it means to be intimate with oneself.
Now being intimate with oneself may sound very strange, but it really isn’t. In life, everything starts with oneself. If you want to love others you have to first love yourself. If you want to help others, you have to first help yourself and so on.
To understand anything in life, you always have to start with yourself. This is the reason why I decided to write about the subject. Now, if I try to get into all the details, I’ll probably end up writing an entire thesis. So just for the sake of keeping this article short and simple, I’ll discuss just a few important details related to intimacy.
I would like to discuss three virtues that are an integral part of being intimate with oneself. These three virtues if applied in one’s own life correctly will become a stepping stone towards achieving a harmonious relationship with your partner.
Patience is one of the essential virtues in life. Most relationships and marriages go down the drain simply because you have not been patient with your partner.
A human being is a vast phenomenon. There are so many aspects to an individual that each aspect needs a tremendous amount of time and attention so that an individual can come to the ultimate flowering someday.
If you’ve ever read the Jataka tales by Buddha you would notice that each story that is explained involves meditating on a certain virtue. For Gautam Siddharth to become a Buddha, it was a struggle of many lives to develop every virtue possible to finally reach enlightenment.
Patience is one of those virtues that one has to develop in one’s life. Unless you have not understood what it is to be patient with yourself, you wouldn’t be able to be patient with your partner.
In the midst of crisis, anxiety, and hardships in your own life, if you have been patient with yourself, then you have taken a huge step towards intimacy. This patience that you have developed in your own life will then help you be patient with your partner.
The reason you can’t tolerate your partner is because you have not yet been able to tolerate your own self. In your own life, you have not given time for yourself to grow and be more. How can you help your partner’s growth when you have not learnt the basic lesson of patience in your own life?
It is impossible to trust another human being simply because the other is very far from us. As far as the physical distance is concerned, you may not be as far away from your partner, but I’m not talking about the physical distance.
The real distance that exists between two people is not the distance between the bodies, but the distance between the souls. This distance or gap that exists between two people can only be bridged when the distance between oneself and one’s own soul is bridged.
Trust is one of the ways of bridging this gap. Just as trust brings two people together, similarly, trust in oneself brings you closer to your own soul. Right now, you may not understand what your soul is, or who you are. All these terms may seem metaphysical, but you need to trust in it in spite of the fact that these things may seem just metaphysical to you.
For example, when you look at a tree and say “This is a tree” you trust your eyes for what it shows you. You don’t say, “Well, I don’t know what that is, it should be a tree, or perhaps it is a star, I don’t really know!”.
Your eyes simply reflect what is in the outside world. In the same way your being reflects who you are. Trust it, and go where it leads you. There will be times when you may fall into a ditch, but let your trust stand tall. A day will come when you will trust in yourself so much that even the greatest setback will not let you down.
When you develop this quality of trust in yourself, only then you will be able to trust your partner. This will bring tremendous intimacy in your relationship.
We all make a big deal about little mistakes that our partners commit. You may say, “little mistakes?” Well, my partner cheated on me. My boyfriend slept with another woman. Is that a little mistake? I don’t really know, but what I do know is that your partner would not be able to cheat on you if you didn’t put the condition that they should remain faithful to you.
We put all sorts of restrictions on our partners and then complain that they cheated on us, lied to us, or deceived us. As human beings we should stay within our limits when it comes to our expectations from others. Be as natural and simple as possible and then, forgiveness will be easy.
All mistakes that human beings commit are simply part of what it means to be human. In fact, being a human being is enough proof that mistakes are possible with you. Only enlightened people do not commit mistakes.
It is not surprising that you find it difficult to forgive your lover, because you perhaps may have not been able to forgive yourself. Just look at your life right now and you will notice a thousand wounds. These wounds exist because you have not been able to forgive yourself. How can you forgive your partner if you yourself are wounded?
When you are in deep suffering, you would like that your partner suffers as well, and so, you will try every possible way to not forgive them. On the other hand, if you have been compassionate and loving with yourself, forgiveness becomes easy. Only a human being who has understood his own flaws and accepted them can come to an understanding of the flaws that exist in another human being.
You can be intimate only when you can look beyond the human flaws that exist in your partner, and see that behind all these flaws, there is something eternal and timeless.
If two human beings can be intimate with each other then living in a beautiful world would no longer be a dream, but a reality.
Unfortunately, all qualities that are possible for a human being are being imposed on God. If we strive towards developing these qualities in our own lives, then all relationships on earth will become not just beautiful, but divine.
But before we go on to making our relationships with others beautiful, it is important that we understand and make the relationship with ourselves beautiful.