I Feel Close to You When…
Have you ever thought about what makes you feel “close” to someone? Whether that someone is our intimate partner, our best friend, a prospective date, or a stranger we just met?
For me, when I looked at this question, it created a profound shift in my life… In all my relationships. It was a moment when I reclaimed not only my own power, but recognized my responsibility in connection.
I’ll tell you just a bit of the story behind it in hopes that it will inspire you notice how this shows up in your life…
For years I truly believed that the reason I had challenges opening deeply and intimately with another was because the other person wasn’t willing to go “deep” with me. I was frustrated and often felt disconnected. A few years ago, I started to look a little closer at myself.
I began noticing ways I had closed down to life… and love in particular…and I began to see when it started. My parents split up and my dad moved out and remarried when I was seven. At that time, one of the decisions I made internally in my little seven-year-old body was that my dad must not love me. How could he really love me if he could leave? Now, of course, that wasn’t true, but how could my seven-year-old mind know that? At the same time, I also decided, “I don’t want it anyway,” “I don’t deserve to be loved.” “I’ll never let that happen again” (i.e., have someone love me and then leave again). I made lots of decisions about life during those days and I wish someone could have told me that it wasn’t a good time to decide how life really worked.
The long and short of it was I closed and locked the doors of my heart…
and I could no longer receive love. As a matter of fact, I pushed love away. Interestingly enough, as I pushed away love, I also pushed away help or support at the same time. Unconsciously I pushed away everything I was longing for and I felt empty inside.
Fast forward 30+ years and I had a huge realization that allowed me to see my barriers to receiving love and so much more.
It began when I was at workshop and the facilitator offered an exercise to us. She asked us to pair up and repeat to our partner the phrase, “I feel close to you when ______,” filling in the blank each time.
As I’ve was saying earlier, I had longed to feel close to men all of my adult life and I never really did…no matter what they did. So, I was dumbfounded by the question. What could I do to feel close to someone? While all the women around me were speaking their answers, I sat in silence. Finally, I got it.
“I feel close to you when I let you in.”
The men (and even the women) in my life had never been the problem. It was me and the barricades in front of my heart had kept me from receiving the love I so longed for all those years. I had decided I didn’t want to take a chance on not being loved again, so I closed the door tight.
In that moment, I saw my responsibility and I immediately reconnected to my power. I cracked the door open and the love on the other side was immense. Today, a few years later, it stands wide open and the love that flows through my life often stills me in awe and brings me to tears.
I invite you to take a close look at yourself and how you show up in your relationships… Do you let other people in? Is it easy for you to share and express your love, but not so easy to take it in and receive it when someone expresses it to you? Are there any doors or locks around your heart?
What would be possible if you opened yourself to more love, more connection, more intimacy, more pleasure?
I invite you to take one step this week toward loving boldly and freely. What will your step be?
*At Ecstatic Intimacy, an all-inclusive website for singles and couples, we welcome all sexual orientation(s), gender(s) and relationship expressions. In this article we utilize the pronouns he/she/him/her.