Tuesday, February 17, 2015

In Too Me See

      I am a pretty confident writer and can whip out a blog pretty easily, but as I think about blogging on intimacy I just get lost. I have begun and erased this blog post multiple times. I am not talking about intimacy with another person, but rather self intimacy. The ability to look deep within ourselves without stories without judgment, just being with our deepest truths. Just being and that is all, sitting with our souls. A few months ago my mentor said casually that maybe I have a challenge with intimacy. Immediately, of course, my ego bristled all up at this. I am happily married and authentic with my spouse, we are best friends and healthily intimate. But she continued to explain that she meant intimacy with myself. Again, preposterous balderdash I hurumphed! I have two decades of spiritual self examination under my belt and a well established mediation practice. I get on my mat everyday to be with me. But as the topic of intimacy continues to flesh itself out, I am beginning to see how self examination and intimacy are not the same thing.

     Years ago I learned that the fastest way to solidify a behavior in my spouse was to try to change him. A soul wants to be seen not fixed, So I learned (and am learning) to just be with him. Like every other person alive he has shining moments and dark ones, but his journey is not for me to judge. And the more I sit with him without a need to fix, without a need to justify the more truly intimate we become. Unfortunately I cannot yet say the same for my relationship with myself. I am my own project to shape and shake until all the dark falls out! Thankfully I have learned the lesson that we need to examine our inner lives kindly and with compassion and therefore when a shadow side of me rears its ugly head once again I try to hug and love it rather than beat it down as I have in the past. This is definite progress. But also very subtly I continue to judge my shadowy behaviors as "bad" and my more socially acceptable behaviors as "good". But this is not intimacy, this is gazing inwardly with the intention to "fix". And this can be a bit of a self abusive habit. There comes a point where "self improvement" is just mean. One definition of intimacy is "the quality of being comfortable, warm and familiar with". This is not the end result of a  self improvement practice. Inner gaze for self improvement always tells us there is something not acceptable in us and this is neither comfortable nor warm!

     Another definition of intimacy is "a close association with or a detailed knowledge of a subject". Well, to get close and become knowledgeable about someone or thing we must observe it without an agenda of intent to change, but with intent to just know them;  turns out this is hard,  But to know oneself truly is nonnegotiable in this  spiritual growth game we play.  I have had more than one client lately tell me that they did not like to spend time alone. I think this is because instead of being intimate with our selves when we're alone we are examining with intent to "fix". well who wants to be alone with some one judging them?

     Can you sit with yourself and just be? Recently someone shared with me a list of ailments that have been plaguing them and then wailed "and no one has been able to fix me!". I didn't say it at the time but I want to thank this person for two valuable reminders, the first is that we all have to do our own work and part of this work is becoming truly self intimate. To heal ourselves we must know ourselves. And the second reminder of a true truth is that we are not broken. Wonderfully gloriously flawed perhaps, but not broken. When we view ourselves as broken we push away the soft inner part of us that needs to emerge and flourish. We cannot pound ourselves into awesomeness, we cannot force change, but rather we can sit quietly and lovingly intimate with ourselves and perhaps some shift towards Love will happen So, do you see yourself as a self improvement project, or do you just see yourself? These are the questions I am asking myself these days. Perhaps its time to put down that judges gavel no matter how well intentioned and just make a friend with our soft inner selves.

If the falling of a hoof
Ever rings the temple bells
If a lonely mans final scream
Before he hangs himself
And the nightingales' perfect lyric
of happiness
All become an equal cause to dance
then the Sun has at last parted
the curtain before you ~
God has stopped playing child's games
with your mind
and dragged you backstage
by the hair
Shown you the only possible reason
For this bizarre and spectacular
Go running through the streets
creating Divine chaos
Make everyone and yourself ecstatically mad
for the Friends beautiful open arms
Go running through the world
giving love, giving love
If the falling of a hoof upon this earth
ever rings the
temple bell