This is one of the unspoken realities of love:
When you find someone who can see you, feel you, meet you and love you at a level of depth that you crave and yet fear...
There is an excruciating pain involved in allowing yourself to open into that level of intimacy.
Most of us grew up with fairytales, so when you meet the person of your dreams - it's supposed to be nothing but awesomeness, and dancing animals and celebration.
Maybe that happens at first (or when you can pretend the other person is perfect, and the answer to all of your problems...).
But as soon as shit gets real...meeting someone who really matters often terrifies us. And we either run, shut-down, turn-off, stop showing up...
....or we go numb and feel a hardness and a lack of interest.
....or we face it - and that facing it takes a tremendous amount of courage.
I'm not talking about the fear of losing someone you love, or committing, or even of being abandoned. I'm talking about the world of hurt that so many of us experienced in our most tender moments of reaching out from the core to touch another human being and getting rejected or misunderstood.
After so much hurt, it takes a lions-share of courage to open up that much again to someone who can meet you back. It's one thing to open up to the player, or the uncommitted person who is gonna be out the second that shit get's a little rough. It's another thing to open up to the person who says, "I'm here. And I love you and I'm not going anywhere."
I want us to talk about this more, because I think the fear surprises a lot of people; running away or shutting down is no way to have the kind of love we all deeply desire. So many relationships are spaces where people go numb and stop feeling precisely because so few of us are equipped with the tools to understand the depth of fear that true intimacy can bring.
We all say we want someone amazing who loves us and who we can truly be ourselves around. Yet, so few of us have that, or can keep it because of this fear. What would it look like for us to acknowledge it?
To meet it?
Not to run, or to shut down, but to move towards it with a tender softness?
These are the questions I'm asking myself as I open into my own hurt, my own barriers to intimacy... The more I open, the more love and connection I feel. And it's not just to my partner–when I am intimate with life through an acceptance of that hurt and fear, music sounds more exquisite, people pop alive in multi-colors and food tastes like magic.
Intimacy may be scary, but it's the special sauce that keeps us alive.
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is a Tony-winning producer/writer/actor & CEO of TheDreamUnLocked: Boutique Coaching for Actors, Writers & Dreamers