Have you wondered why some people have more intimate connections with others? What is their secret?
I’ll tell you a secret about intimacy and connection. A huge ingredient to success in this area of life has to do with the courage to be vulnerable. But easier said than done - right?
Last time I wrote, I touched on the metaphor of the infinity loop, and how it represented what it is like in life to extend yourself out in the world with others and then return to yourself as an individual. It’s a type of regrouping - if you will.
This pattern of extending oneself (in vulnerability) and then returning home to the self, is one of most valuable tools for intimacy I could share with you. Why - you ask?
Well frankly, perfection does not lead to connection and real, honest vulnerability opens the door to it. So when you pretend to have it all put together, wearing a mask out in the world and afraid to be yourself, speak with your own voice, or share how you feel, the connection points are very limited. When you explore showing up authentically, being the real you, over time you will find people who respond wholeheartedly to you. Then you’ve crossed over the bridge into the land of opportunity where deeper intimacy exists.
So let’s talk about the risk taking. It’s there. You can’t be authentic and extend yourself like that without some risk. What you can do is take care of yourself along the way.
I recommend a few simple ways:
Value yourself - not based on the outcome but for the courage you had to be authentic.
Check to see if your self-talk is supportive, loving and kind. Don’t buy into anyone else’s perspective more than your own truth.
Learn to regularly pull your energy and focus back to yourself and check in to see how you are feeling. This helps you to regulate your own nervous system and emotions.
If you’ve been vulnerable, exposed or hurt after an interaction, try this practice:
Make time to be alone
Create a comforting environment and sit down (soft blankets, candles, hot tea, your favorite pet nearby, etc.)
Ground yourself .
Slow your breath and relax. (If you are particularly anxious, sometimes it helps to look around the room and note how you are safely protected by it and supported by the chair you are sitting in).
Imagine any strands of your energy out in the world, returning to you (think of it coming home - for a reboot).
Focus on each part of your body to be aware of it, feel each part, one at a time. (Feet, calves, thighs, hips, back, chest, shoulders, arms, hands, neck, face, head).
Feel your connection to the ground, imagining rooting down into the earth like a tree.
If you still feel disconnected after this exercise, consider writing out your feelings with the intention of honoring them and then practice grounding yourself again.
Conclude by looking for the ways you authentically showed up, no matter how others reacted to you. Honest self-appreciation is a classic skill when it comes to good self-care.
Life’s too short to wait around for connection to come to you. Explore how you can generate more intimacy and love with an open heart and great self-care.