A big part of being intimate involves being able to share ones reality with another person. Here, one will share what they are feeling, thinking and sensing.
And while this may sound clear enough to understand, it is not always the easiest thing to do in a relationship. One of the primary reasons for this is due to one not feeling safe enough to do so.
If one doesn’t feel that it is safe for them to open up and to share their reality with another; there is going to be very little chance of authentic intimacy taking place. And then, the natural need to share oneself with another person will not take place.
So on one side, one has to feel safe enough to reveal who they are and that the other person will accept them as they are. And on the other side, this will involve the other person sharing who they are and with one accepting them as they are.
This would mean that through accepting each other, there would not be the tendency for one person to try to change the other person. Or that what one person was experiencing was wrong and inappropriate. Each person’s reality would be respected and honoured.
When one has boundaries, it allows them to know where they begin and where they end. And where another person begins and ends. This then leads to the understanding that one’s reality is different to another’s reality and that they each have their own experience of life.
And through knowing who they are, it means that one can feel safe enough to open up and to have the discernment to know when it is not safe. When one doesn’t have boundaries, there is the potential for one to either enmesh with the other person or to keep them at a distance.
When They Don’t Exist
This is likely to be the result of one now knowing where they begin and end and where another person begins and ends. And through not having this inner sense of who they are, one is going to have great difficulty sharing who they are with another person.
Here one may choose to avoid sharing who they are at a deeper level, as a way to avoid losing themselves. Or one may become enmeshed with the other person and lose their own reality in the process.
Another consequence will relate to respecting and acknowledging the other persons reality. Through each person not having a strong sense of their own reality, there will then be the likelihood of invalidating and denying what the other person is experiencing.
While it is a natural need to open up and to share ones reality with another person; there can often be fears that get in the way of this occurring. Consciously the desire is there, but what is going on unconsciously is sabotaging this need from being fulfilled.
And this will come down to the associations that the ego mind has formed around getting close to another person. The ego mind forms associations through what is perceives to be familiar and therefore safe.
This is not necessarily based on what is healthy or functional; it can be the result of traumatic and emotionally charged experiences. So this means that it is important to look at how one feels about sharing their reality with another person.
At a deeper level, this could lead to the following associations being triggered:
· That one will lose who they are
· That one will be taken advantage of
· That one will be invalidated
· That it is not safe to do so
· That one will be ignored
These could have been formed through ones early interactions with their caregivers and through adult experiences.
And for anyone who has experienced any of the above; they won’t need to be reminded of what it feels like to share their reality with another person. As the ego mind has formed these associations and therefore feels safe with them; it will often cause one to attract people who will trigger them.
It may be that the other person is not allowing one to share who they are or it could be that one simply perceives them as being that way. And all because of what is going on within themselves.
To create boundaries and to feel safe enough to share who one is with another, it may require letting go of what the ego mind has associated as being safe. Through this, one will start to form a healthy sense of who they are. And will then be a lot easier to open up to healthy intimacy.
There are many ways of doing this and this will all depend on how much of a challenge this is for someone. Therapy, healing or coaching are possible options. As is reading about this area or speaking to a trusted friend.
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 26 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.