Who knew I could be intimate with boundaries, without sex, and without smothering or being smothered.
Last week, at The Integral Center, I got circled. And it was just what I needed so I could see some parts of myself that had been hiding out and leaving me slightly confused about certain relationship issues that have been arising.
During the Circle, I got to feel my feelings in a way I am not always able to access when I am alone. I guess that’s why they teach this Circling thing.
When I’m alone, I often escape my feelings with work, or kids, or more surface connections and distractions. And while I’m working on being more present with myself, I find it easier to really go deep in the context of a specific container created for that purpose.
Circling is that. Writing helps. And, I haven’t been making enough time for it lately.
So, during the Circle I was able to access these deeper parts of myself that aren’t often drawn out, and cry and cry and cry.
As I cried, I noticed that I want intimacy, but not in the way I’ve been experiencing it. (Please note here that when I say intimacy, I’m referring to inner knowing of me, not sex.) In fact, I’ve been becoming quite aware lately of how I have used sex in the past to avoid true intimacy and I wish to stop doing that.
But, truth is, there aren’t actually very many people here in Boulder I trust myself to be truly intimate with. I haven’t always been held so well by the people I’ve let in to my intimate space.
Either, my intimate revealings have been used against me later in some way that surprised me. Or, they have caused some sort of hurt that I didn’t intend.
So, I’ve been holding myself in, isolated to a large degree, even though on the surface, I seem to have many friends.
And while I do share authentically in my writings, there is a real difference between authenticity and intimacy, as I wrote about in a prior post on the Myth of Authenticity, and the Truth About Intimacy.
I long for true intimacy and yet I often find it hard to access or make myself available for it because I get scared, but I haven’t always known that was what was happening.
The container of a Circle is perfect because it’s a spacious, non personal intimacy.
And, as I began to become aware of in my Circle last night, I’m actually far more sensitive than I previously understood.
I can see now that I was repeatedly getting into relationship with people who I experienced as more sensitive than me, so I could be the tough one.
Probably some weird projection stuff to keep myself safe.
As I cried, one of the people in the Circle asked if I wanted a hug. I didn’t. It felt good to say no.
And, it also felt good to have my tears witnessed and know that the people in the Circle with me weren’t going anywhere. Intimacy with space.
I wanted to cry and be felt and seen and to stay with myself. The hugging would have taken me out of myself, focused on the hugger instead of on the internal hug I was giving myself by allowing myself to be intimate but not enmeshed.
Enmeshment is what I thought intimacy meant.
I want spaciousness in my intimacy.
Spacious intimacy. How novel.
It feels good to know this about myself. I notice myself breathing deeper today.
I’m so curious what it will look like to explore relating from this context. I don’t have to let people in so fast — either sexually or by letting them move into my physical home — to experience intimacy.
And, I have less of a desire to invest my time on the surface connections that are a substitute for the intimacy I truly desire.
Intimacy can be spacious and deep and wide, and maybe it’s even more trustworthy when it is.