What if intimacy was more than a connection between two people?
Intimacy is often thought of as a connection with another person. From the moment of conception, an embryo forms and begins to connect with the mother in a symbiotic relationship. As time passes, intimate connections are forged— first, from the parent-child relationship, then carrying further to friends, co-workers, and potentially romantic partners.
What if intimacy was more than a connection between two people? What if intimacy involved connecting with ourselves—self-intimacy?
Self-intimacy, much like any other relationship, is the process of learning to listen, communicate, and to vulnerably share important parts of self with ourselves. It is the process of lifting important unconscious information and bringing it into a stream of consciousness. Like a toddler who says: “snack, mommy,” as adults, we have the same internal wisdom to sense our needs and give them to ourselves. This process is referred to as self-connection.
In order to develop and deepen an intimate relationship with ourselves, we must be willing to create space in our lives to understand our thoughts and feelings in an open and non-judgmental way.
One practical way of beginning the journey toward self-intimacy is the process of self-reflection. Below we offer several questions to ask yourselves regularly.
Am I able to recognize my thoughts or feelings?
When I notice my thoughts or feelings, am I able to allow them to go through their natural ebb and flow pattern or do I attempt to avoid them?
What disposition do I hold towards my thoughts and feelings? Am I kind and compassionate? Do I judge myself?
The processes of self-reflection and self-inquiry are the building blocks towards self-intimacy. Authentic connections with others begin with an authentic connection with ourselves. Learning to be intimately familiar with our thoughts and feelings allows us to experience the fullness of life on a moment to moment basis.
This post was contributed by our friends, Sheree K. Ash, M.S. & Pegah Moghaddam, Psy.D. at Living Fully Therapy.