DR JOHN DEMARTINI - Updated 1 year ago
When you mention the word “intimacy” to many people, they tend to immediately think of hugging, kissing, or sexual activity with a partner.
For me, the word “intimacy” implies something far deeper.
Infatuation is not intimacy
In all probability, you have experienced a time when you met someone and almost immediately became infatuated with them. If you think back to that time, you are likely to have been:
- Conscious of their UPSIDES, advantages and similarities and unconscious of their DOWNSIDES, disadvantages and differences;
- Conscious of their supportive behavioral traits and unconscious or ignorant of their challenging behavioral traits;
Feelings of resentment distance you from intimacy
When you are resentful to someone, however, the opposite tends to happen, and you are likely to become:
- Conscious of their DOWNSIDES, disadvantages and differences and unconscious of their UPSIDES, advantages and similarities;
- Conscious of their challenging behavioral traits and unconscious or ignorant of their supportive behavioral traits;
Like many others, you may tend to confuse infatuation with intimacy in the early stages of a relationship when you perceive more similarities than differences, more support than challenge, more advantages than disadvantages, and more upsides than downsides.
While this may be labeled a FORM of intimacy, it is the true, deeper and more reflective intimacy that is available for a human being to experience.
Click below for the video of this article. ↓
A deeper and more meaningful form of intimacy occurs when you fully and reflectively OWN the traits, actions, or inactions you see in others – both the traits, actions or inactions you perceive to be positive, and the traits, actions or inactions you perceive to be negative.
The deepest form of intimacy results from realizing that whatever traits, actions, or inactions you perceive in this other individual or partner; you perceive them in yourself to the same degree. There are no distinctions. In form we may differ, but in essence we are all the same.
Here’s what I mean by that.
Suppose you meet someone that you RESENT and you ask yourself:
“What specific trait, action or inaction do I perceive them displaying or demonstrating that I resent or despise most?”
Now, what if you were to:
- Clarify the specific trait, action, or inaction you despised most in 3 or 5 words
- Go inside yourself and think of a moment where and when you perceived yourself displaying or demonstrating that same or similar specific trait, action, or inaction.
- Ask yourself: “WHERE I did it, WHEN I did it, WHO I did it to, and WHO perceived that I displayed or demonstrated it.”
- Repeat the process again and again, integrally and honestly, until the quantity and quality of what you perceive in the other individual is now equally reflected and perceived in you.
The perceiver, the perceiving and the perceived are the same.
The moment you own the traits and behaviors you see in them; you realize you have what you see in them to the same degree and you wake up your REFLECTIVE AWARENESS.
Instead of decoying, deflecting, and being too proud to admit that what you see in them is also inside you, you now OWN it 100%.
In doing so, you are most likely to realize the perfect balance of similarities and differences.
When you see the perfect blend of similarities and differences; when you 100% own the traits that you perceive in them; when you have pure reflective awareness, in that moment, you have true intimacy.
Intimacy emerges when there are no deflected parts.
Intimacy is proportionate to pure reflective awareness.
The same applies when it comes to the things you ADMIRE about others.
If you perceive a trait, action, or inaction that you admire – one that you're conscious of the upsides and unconscious of the downsides - and ask,
“Where and when do I perceive myself displaying or demonstrating the same specific trait, action, or inaction that I admire in them. Where was it displayed? When was it displayed? Who did I display it to and who perceived me doing it?”
Take ALL the traits, actions, and inactions that you admire and despise, like and dislike, are attracted to and repelled from, then own all of them 100%, and see that whatever you see in the individuals you admire and dislike is inside of you.
When you do this exercise, you are not likely to end up putting people on pedestals or in pits. Instead, you are likely to put them in your heart.
When you put them in your heart and have pure reflective awareness, you have true intimacy.
When you’re in an intimate relationship with someone, there will certainly be behaviors you like and things you dislike equally.
Anytime you expect another human being to be one-sided – in other words, you have a fantasy that they are always nice, never mean; always positive, never negative; always kind, never cruel; always giving, never taking; always generous, never stingy; always cooperative, never competitive; always peaceful, never wrathful – they are likely to let you down because you’re blind to their downsides. You’re projecting a half-sided fantasy onto them instead of seeing them for who they are and embracing both sides of them.
A one-sided human being doesn't exist
People want to be loved and appreciated for who they are, yourself included, and that includes the things you like and dislike, admire and despise, the hero and the villain, the saint and the sinner, the virtue and the vice, all the above.
You don't need to get rid of any part of them to love them, in the same way that you don't need to get rid of half of yourself to love yourself.
By owning all the traits that you perceive in them that you’re attracted to or repelled from, you are most likely to experience deep intimacy and start to love them unconditionally.
That level of intimacy is a profound intimacy that allows RESILIENCE and ADAPTABILITY – one that occurs more spontaneously when you're both living according to what you value most.
When you live according to your highest values or top priorities, your blood, glucose, and oxygen go into your FOREBRAIN, which is the executive center of your brain. As a result, you tend to become more objective, you’ll not have as many subjective biases, and not as inclined to polarize your perceptions.
Instead, you are more likely to SYNTHESIZE them, own the traits, and have reflective awareness, which leads to true intimacy.
- If you wish to experience true intimacy, begin owning the traits of the people you admire or dislike, the heroes and villains. What you see in them is also in you 100% to the same degree.
- In essence we are all the same. In our existential forms we differ due to our unique hierarchy of values
- Everyone wants to be loved for who they are. When you see and embrace both sides of an individual and see both sides equally within you, they feel your unconditional love.
- You have both sides, you're not one-sided. And if you try to put on a facade that you're one-sided, you'll tend to live with moral hypocrisy and eventually be trapped by it.
- If you own and embrace both sides, you can experience true and lasting intimacy, because when you're able to appreciate both sides and love them for who they are, they turn into who you love.
- If you’d love to go deeper into the principles shared in this article, join Dr John Demartini’s FREE training: Balance Emotions for Greater Achievement. You can access the class HERE
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