The reason that intimacy has become associated with anxiety or fear is because the word intimacy has become associated with sex as a physical act. People think that being intimate is something you do. They say that “he was being intimate with her” when they really mean that a couple were having sexual intercourse or “foreplay”.
Intimacy isn’t something you do; it’s not an activity. Intimacy is a state of being; not doing. Intimacy is a level of consciousness that requires self-awareness as distinct from thinking or doing. Intimacy is awareness. Intimacy is being conscious of feelings that are happening within yourself and can develop into a conduit for the feelings that are happening to your partner. Intellect is self-conscious – that is, aware of what is happening simply to the physical body and to the external surroundings and environment. It could be said that intimacy isn’t something that you do – it’s actually something you are! Fear of intimacy is being afraid to be real; afraid to be you. It is quite common for people to be afraid of failure, but fear of intimacy is actually being afraid of success. To be able to be yourself, without masks or defences, is to be happy.
Fear of intimacy is really a fear of being happy. To be open and undefended with a lover – to be fully known and accepted – is to be truly loved; fear of intimacy is really fear of love.
Just think how wonderful it must be to simply be you in a relationship. No pretending; no defending; no masquerading. No need to perform; no demand; no need to prove yourself. No need to achieve anything; no uncertainty about how your partner feels; no worry about so-called dysfunction. How happy you would feel; how free from fear and anxiety. This is the effect of the art of conscious intimacy.
Building a foundation of intimacy is an art. Everyone can be intimate because intimacy is our true state. Our physical bodies change constantly and ultimately die, but our real essence is at home with true intimacy. Our deepest longing from the moment we are born is for love and intimacy because we are sparks of love and intimacy which happen to live in a physical body for the duration of this lifetime on earth.
We long to experience intimacy because we long to realise who we actually are; in experiencing intimacy we are able to realise more of the true Self.