There is a longing for connection that is part of being a human. A desire to be seen, heard, and accepted just as you are. To be welcomed and loved unconditionally. No masks, no hiding, no posturing. No matter where you are on your career path, and no matter what status symbols you’ve acquired. Even if you don’t feel your best (especially then). Even when you feel far from perfect. When you’re confused, or frustrated, or just terribly sad. Yet also: when you feel radiantly beautiful and strong. When you feel happy and attractive, and excited for your life. We wish to connect and be accepted then, too.
Here’s what I’m noticing. One of the gifts that meditation and mindfulness give me is an a intimacy with my own experience. By slowing down and savoring each moment — relaxing and moving closer to emotion, physical sensation, and mind-state — I become more familiar and acquainted with them. I know how anger feels. I know self-doubt. I know joy, and grief.
When you are able to recognize emotions within yourself and simply be with them — without fighting, ignoring, or trying to “fix” them — something amazing happens. You begin to accept your whole self. Unconditionally. You become able to have a full range of emotions. You can notice, “Oh, I feel super angry right now. I know anger.” And you can breathe into it, and then choose to act in a way that most supports you — rather than reacting impulsively or habitually.
But what’s more: as you improve your ability to be with your own full range of emotion, it becomes easier to be with the emotions of others.
So when you’re at work and someone is frustrated, or unkind, or hostile — you have more room to handle it. And in your personal life, you are able to be with your partner through their emotions, too. And because you feel safe and grounded — you’re not trying to fight, ignore, or fix them — they begin to feel safe and grounded.
They will feel seen, accepted, and loved for who they are in this moment.
That’s where you find intimacy.