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On Intimacy

Much is made in "new age" circles of the search for "soulmates". What is it that we really seek? The answer to that may lie beyond the culturally impressed parameters of human interaction. Let's make the leap past the perception that our physical bodies define our Selves and that the physical world comprises the universe. There now, that was easy enough wasn't it?

Next, let's leap to the awareness that the "external" world we interact with is a perception of reality that we create in each moment. We create it with the thrusting of our intent (focused awareness) through the filter of our beliefs. Each encounter in the "real" world is a reflection then, of our beliefs about ourselves. Each person we relate to is a mirror of ourselves in a very direct way. We only actually perceive the "other" by expanding our identity to include them as part of ourselves (empathy). Obviously, this is a rare occurrence. Even if we do not accept that this conostruct for reality is accurate, we may accept that our interactions are so fully influenced by our egos that really seeing one another is rare. It is an unsual person who can step aside from their own issues and concerns to hear and experience another's reality. it is a simple fact of psychology that we project our reality onto the fabric of our existence. I merely suggest that this process is more pervasive then we often give it credit for being.

The seemingly innate drive to seek a "soulmate" as a partner in life may be a warped effort to establish a true awareness of self through an outward manifestation; in other words, a projection. From the perspective of the soul, we seek another who mirrors our deepest self back to us. We seek one who is so like ourselves that our very souls are exposed to our view. That we look first to another person for this glimpse of ourselves is the effect of lifetimes of indoctrination into the view that what is outside our bodies is "reality". Piercing through the layers of beliefs about ourselves that have been drilled into us, reveals that our "soulmate" is our soul. Shucking off the ideas of others about reality, we can encounter momentary partners who reflect deeper layers of ourselves. Imagine the intensity of daily interaction with someone who mirrors us to the deepest levels (including all those things we really aren't sure we want to see). Imagine the risk we must take to even begin such a relationship. All our insecurities are presented to us by the interaction. How not to be paralysed? Such a partner challenges us to face our deepest angst with profound courage. How many of us could bear such intense confrontation with ourselves in the presence of another person? How many of us have enough love for ourselves that we could offer love to one who is so like us on the inside?

So, the fantasy that true soulmate coupling may be all goodness and joy is just that, a fantasy. Intensity cuts both ways. Our relationships always reflect our present state of being. To have a true soul mate relationship requires a very deep level of self awareness and self acceptance. A true soul mate will show us the deepest and often darkest parts of ourselves. Oh boy!

How can we prepare ourselves for such a deep level of intimacy? Well, practice of course. Put all that we have into each relationship, bringing honesty and courage into expressing who we are. Making such practice (relating) into an act of self awareness accelerates the learning in huge increments. Key to the process is the two sided coin of acceptance and permission. On the active side, we must grant ourselves permission to be who we really are. This assumes that there is so much of ourselves that remains a mystery to us. Not too large a leap to make. It assumes too, that it is safe to reveal to ourselves and the "world" who we really are. Walking this earth holding such an affrmation as: "I give myself permission to": heal, or express my truth, or be the God within etc., is thoroughly life changing. This immediately sets up life conditions which compel us to explore deeper levels of our being. The double edged sword nature of this affrimation creates interactions with others that reach deeper levels of intimacy as well. Pushing into the inner recesses of our own psyches allows us to encourage others to share our healing and embark on their own. This creates a marvelous opportunity for intimacy.

Equally vital to the process is the passive side of the coin, acceptance. We may be prepard to embrace whatever is revealed of the truth of ourselves and others. Simply put, we can become less judgmental and learn to accept and love what is. Each time we pull in the reins and refuse to embrace what we find inside ourselves, we automatically withhold permission for more to come bubbling up. Each act of courage in facing the wholeness of ourselves reinforces the sense of safety in doing so. The process is renewed with increasing vigor.

Practicing this self revelation with others turns up the heat also. We then push each other to cycle faster through the layers of pain and fear which block our direct experience of spirit. Healing becomes a joyous act when we can accept and offer love in a relationship. This willingness brings people into our lives that can share in the energy of our growth. The race toward our own divinity steps up its pace.

To find and prepare for a true soulmate to enter our lives is a more ambitious goal than we once supposed. It requires tremendous openness to the truth of ourselves. A soul mate does not love us for the person they think we are (like most love relationships in this culture). They love us for who we are, which is so like who they are. Such a love expresses the most profound love of self and reveals the most intimate aspects of our inner lives. The reward is an intense joy and a love based on genuine acceptance and compassion. Trust of self becomes the root of intimate sharing and self acceptance the foundation of true love.

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