A couple of weeks ago I posted the following quote on my Facebook page. To me, this picture conveyed a beautiful and very important message. Especially in our modern times, when most of the communicating we do happens through technology and not actually face-to-face. I just felt people need to be reminded that intimacy should be part of our everyday life.
Kiss your friends’ faces more. Destroy the belief that intimacy must be reserved for monogamous relationships. Be more loving. Embrace platonic intimacy. Embrace vulnerability. Use emotionality as a radical tactic against a society, which teaches you that emotions are a sign of weakness. Tell more people you care about them. Hold their hands. Tell others you are proud of them. Offer support readily. Take care of the people around you.
However, once this post was up and ready to be seen by others I received some feedback I quite simply didn’t expect. The underlying message was, that people were stunned how I could support polygamous relationships, as my post clearly encouraged people to have more than one sexual partners.
Ehm... No, it did not.
Even though I am choosing to live in a monogamous relationship, I am not against any form of human relationships, whether with one or numerous partners. But I am not promoting one or the other. This was not what my post was about!
Intimacy in our day to day life
My post was about intimacy, which describes a close and personal connection to another human being. Close and personal does not mean sexual. But it seems our iPhone society has completely forgotten what it means to be intimate, to have an actual face-to-face conversation that really touches our soul, to really look at someone and feel what they feel. Intimacy shouldn’t be a privilege we reserve just for our husbands and wives. Practicing intimacy on a daily basis with a number of different people can be very rewarding and beneficial for our emotional wellbeing. In fact intimacy is absolutely necessary in our day-to-day life.
Keeping an emotional balance
But can you be intimate with people you don’t really know? Is that even possible? The answer is, yes, of course it is. In most cases it is even easier than one might think. Intimate moments can happen just about anywhere and with anyone. It could be a smile of pure joy shared with a stranger in the street or a conversation with our neighbour which we can feel in our heart. A hug for someone who is having a bad day or just holding someone’s gaze on the train. The trick is to really look at the people around us, to really see them as the people they are with all their stories, their talents, their desires, their pain, their joys, their strengths and their weaknesses. Be empathetic and connect!
Nowadays we are taught that emotions are a sign of weakness, we all have them of course, but we better not show them. Instead we talk about the weather and the game last Friday, while what we really want to say is being held down until we pretend it is gone. However, the truth is: It never goes away. All the unspoken words, unfelt emotions and undisclosed desires in our life will not go away - they go to a place in our soul, where they will grow until one day, we will not be able to hold them back anymore and that is how we break. You see, being intimate really is necessary for a healthy emotional balance. It’s like spring cleaning our feelings every day.
Intimacy = Happiness
But there is more - it also makes us happy. Let’s be honest, who doesn’t like a hug, a smile or a nice gesture? Being intimate and compassionate simply means being nice to each other. I admit, physically touching other people, especially if we don’t know them that well isn’t always easy. There are a lot of fears to overcome - the fear of rejection, the fear of making a fool of ourselves, the fear of an unexpected reaction. We are told from an early age that physical touch - intimacy - is reserved for just a chosen few. But why? Why do we feel so nervous about giving the crying girl in the park a hug? Why is it deemed to be acceptable if I hold somebodies hand, when I feel that is what they need?
Fact is: Most people won’t eat you when they are on the receiving end of a random act of kindness. Most of the time they simply can’t believe that someone has actually seen them and cared enough to reach out in order to share a very rare and very intimate moment with them.
I believe the key is in trusting our gut and not trying to over think what we feel. Feel it and do it. And maybe, just maybe we can make the world a little bit better by reconnecting with our neighbours on an intimate level.