[The following is excerpted from a larger work.]
The Deepest Intimacy
As important as an ability to approach intimacy in one’s relationships with others might be, it’s of even greater importance in one’s relationship with oneself. If one cannot be intimate with oneself, one will never be able to achieve intimacy with others. On the surface, such a statement seems to be self-evident. However, just a momentary consideration of how readily we are given to cutting ourselves off from each other — often in displays of stark incorrectness — might suggest that a reappraisal of our opinion of our humanity is in order. Perhaps we can kill each other, enslave one another, and even violate those who are closest to us with such ease because each of us is (to a degree) cut off from ourselves. Despite our references to ourselves as being individuals, somehow each one of us has been divided.
One’s life itself is a journey into the unknown…and often this journey finds one trekking through indescribably hostile territory. It’s not quite clear where it is in the socialization process that we begin to forget who and what it is that we are — and why it is that we might have come here. However, it’s probably the case that every one of us goes through a period in his or her life in which one loses a connection to one’s inner urge. Invariably, these periods occur at moments where those to whom we might look for a measure of guidance are actually desperately hoping that we might instead be able to lead them out of their own chaotic entanglements. Ultimately, we each must find our own way to clarity.
The formula for intimacy with oneself is pretty much the same as it is for intimacy with another. One must remain vulnerable to oneself, so that all illusions of oneself disappear during introspection. One must be accountable to oneself — at all times — as only truth furthers. Finally, one must be as willing to give to oneself as one might be to receive from oneself. Know that the integrated and whole self is greater than the sum of its parts. It is this Self which is connected to all things. This is much deeper than one’s feelings can fathom.