INTIMACY – Into me see – To connect with another person you really need be able to see into me and I have to really be able to see into you. You have to look into where they are and focus completely on them and put your own personal agendas on the side.
What does it mean to get to really know and understand another person? How many of us take the time and mental space to really get to know thoroughly and deeply the other person, our partner?
Friedrich Nietzsche once said – we don’t love other people but we love our version of them.
Knowing you on your terms
We create a version of our friend, our space or our child in our mind and that is what we love. But do I ever take the time and energy to get to know you on your terms and not on my terms?
Disagreeing can be a source of Enlightenment
Interestingly enough, a person can sometimes help you and vice versa, by disagreeing with them. By being against them.
That doesn’t mean you should walk out disagreeing with everyone. But when it does happen, especially with people who are close to us, we often see it as a source of contention but we should really see it as a source of enlightenment.
Broadening of horizons
The fact that you disagree with me allows me to broaden my horizons and allows me to see a larger perspective on life. So why is it that so many of us goes crazy when someone disagrees with us and especially if that person is in our house. The greatest blessing is when you have some challenge which will demonstrate to you a perspective that you may have not instinctively embraced or thought of because of the limitation of your character. And which character is not limited?
However, if I’m only against you, it’s not going to work. If I want to help you and part of being there for somebody is that we often disagree. We have divergent personalities, divergent views and it’s when I can create space for your view and your perspective then my own life can get enhanced. I don’t become a prisoner of my own stereotype, of my own narrowness, of my own Ego, of my own insecurities, and then I can actually get to know you and understand who you are. It does however take time to study who your partner is.
And the same is true of other relationships. The real ability to know who that other person is, not only how you define them on your terms and what you expect from them but rather listening deeply to them and being there for them on their terms rather than yours.
If I don’t love me then I’m empty
Somebody who is loved knows what it means to give love to someone else. But if I don’t feel loved, I can’t give what I don’t have. If I hate and despise myself in a very deep place, can I love you? I could love you perhaps out of guilt. I could love you perhaps because I feel there is nothing in me to love and therefore I love you. But if my ‘I’ is really shattered and my ‘I’ has no real value can I truly embrace you as another human being? You can only give what you have to someone else.
But it goes a step deeper – when a person doesn’t really respect their core identity, they could never really love because they can never afford to suspend themselves and create space for others as they are always trying to fill a bottomless pit, an endless void to feel their own value.
On a practical level, if I’m in a conversation with you or a conversation with my spouse or a conversation with a friend, I’m always searching for validation, for recognition, for approval, for somebody to tell me or at least to intimate to me that I’m good, I’m worthy, I’m fine, I’m loveable, I’m a great guy, I’m skinny, I’m handsome, I’m slim, and throw in whatever other adjectives you like. But the bottom line is that I have to fill that void because I don’t have it on my own. I don’t feel that I really exist because I don’t like myself.
If my “I” is shattered, then how can I really be here for you?
So when the spouse comes home and starts sharing their day and how difficult the day was, it’s very hard for this person to actually listen and empathize because they are waiting for their own void to be filled by the other person. They’re waiting for compliments, they’re waiting for accolades, they’re waiting for approval and validation. It’s very hard for me to be here for you when my ‘I’ is completely shattered or partially shattered.
Only when I’m in a wholesome space with a clear mind, can I suspend myself and really be here for you on your terms. And now I can be here for you so you can be here for me.
Nothing can shatter the Universal core of who you truly are.
And if someone does feel that void, it’s because they lack the understanding of a clear mind to find it within themselves. A clear mind is the realization that there is an unconditional love of the universal intelligence behind all life to them. Nothing can shatter their core dignity. No force in the world, no abuse in the world, no aggressor in the world can take away from you, the infinite value and dignity of your core soul.
Going beyond the compliments
Just like no abuse can destroy the universal intelligence behind life, no aggression in the world can deny you from your essential Divine sacred and wholesome core of who you truly are. It’s nice to get compliments, it’s nice to get validation, I love it, but the question is, am I dependent on it? Do I need it like oxygen? How do I deal with it when I don’t get it? If I have a clear mind, then I can love, I can just be there for somebody else.
Dropping of the Ego to get clear about who we truly are
Sometimes people carry around a toxic message of self-sabotage throughout all of their relationships and they don’t even realize it. They have these washing machines on their shoulders with negative self-sabotaging thoughts spinning around and around. They can never really breath and listen to the other because there’s so much internal unresolved pressure. And this is where a clear mind comes in. Many of us are experts on everyone else except ourselves. We know who everybody else is but it can be challenging to drop our own Ego and get clear enough to discover ourselves.
In relationships it’s even more toxic because couples are projecting on each other things that have nothing to do with the other person, it has completely to do with them.
If my “I” is dependent on your you – then I can’t authentically be there for you.
The Rabbi of Kotz once said; “If ‘I’ am ‘I’ because you are you and you are you because ‘I’ am ‘I’, then ‘I’ am not I, and you are not you. But if ‘I’ am ‘I’ because ‘I’ am ‘I’, and you are you because you are you, then ‘I’ am ‘I’ and you are you.”
And now we can begin a relationship. The Rabbi of Kotz, one of the great Chassidic masters Rabbi Menachem Mendel Morgenstern who lived in the 19th century and passed away in 1859 said this and I think he meant this:
If my entire “I” is defined by you then “I” am not “I” and you are not you. If your you is based on “I” and my “I” is based on you there is no relationship. There is such entanglement, so much toxicity, so much blame, there is so much lack of transparency and lack of clarity that real relationship doesn’t take place.
Love with boundaries
On the other hand, if “I” am “I”, and you are you – let’s talk. Now let’s fight, let’s argue, now lets joke. But now you and I both have boundaries.
And to develop those honest boundaries is a great feat. Every couple I know either complains – there is no passion or there is so much passion we’re killing each other.
What really gets you angry is not what you first think
In any relationship where somebody makes a comment and it gets you really upset inside, and your brain goes haywire. You implode on the inside. When you’re angry, it’s hard to think inside. But when you calm down, and you’re willing to go deep down inside yourself and be brutally honest, you will usually find that what was ticking you off wasn’t the actual word the other person said, it was your thinking about what they said that triggered some past memory from yourself.
So when you’re getting upset at the other person, they are just bringing up something in you that is an old past thought that stressed you out.
Laughter is the Key
What really gets people to laugh? The truth, discomfort, something sharp. A joke has a form of release through contrast and paradoxes. The great comedian takes you to the unexpected and you laugh because its something unusual that’s usually not in your daily experience.
The secret of happiness is the ability to laugh at your own differences
All humour comes from the unexpected. It’s natural for people to get into a conflict. I have my Ego, you have yours. I have my idiosyncrasies you have yours. For a couple to get into a fight – that’s natural, that’s expected. When you can laugh you can have a successful relationship. What does it mean to laugh? Celebrating the unexpected. It’s natural to have fights but the secret of happiness is the ability to be able to laugh at your differences.
All creations are predictable except one
It’s the purpose of creation because before creation everything was predictable and even within creation everything is predictable. Every creature and everything excluding quantum mechanics, but at least everything we can observe is predictable, except for one thing; that’s the human race. We have the ability to be unpredictable and therefore making the universal intelligence behind all life, laugh.
I may be in the mood of not buying flowers for my wife and despite my mood, I buy the roses with a beautiful card. And the universal intelligence behind life laughs because that was an unexpected phenomenon.
Happiness occurs when we can acknowledge our differences and laugh it off. Our paths are divergent. For us to separate, that would be normal. For us to get divorced, that’s normal.
A guy comes to his Rabbi, “I want to get divorced!” So the Rabbi answers, “who doesn’t?”
Conflicts are created by human beings. We fight and all have issues. The uniqueness of a powerful relationship is the ability to laugh, the ability to create an unexpected punch line.
We were created to do the unexpected. We were created to challenge our Egos.” We were created so our Souls should surprise our minds, that our souls should surprise our Egos, that our souls should surprise our moods.
Change your interpretation
So next time someone says something that upsets you, what would happen if you would realize that it is just your interpretation which could be laughed off rather than taken so seriously? One of the fundamental rules of the mind is that when you change the meaning and interpretation everything changes.