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  • annelisamacbeanphd

Intimate Relating

In any close relationship (where we take the risk of allowing another to matter) we open ourselves to the two primordial energies of abandonment and fusion. We sense deeply the potential for shattering reorganization, so it's not uncommon to experience some hesitancy stepping in all the way.

We come into all our relationships with an embodied template of past relational experiences: Will I be safe? Can I be fully myself? What about all of my compulsions, eccentricities, sensitivities, vulnerabilities, blind spots and weeping wounds? Will I need to be someone different in order to be accepted and held? Will I lose myself? Is this all going to be worth it?

Inevitably, ruptures will occur within the relational field. Disconnection from ourselves, disintegration and separation from the truth of who we are will affect the tender intersection between ourselves and another. But ruptures are a natural, organic element of flow, contraction and expansion are fundamental quantum elements of our existence. Ruptures can ultimately be experienced as portals to a restful, relaxed wholeness.

Healthy relationships are not free of conflict or rupture, but rather, rupture and proper repair is understood to be foundational to the progress and development of intimacy and love. The invitation is into the dance of separation and union.

The cycle of rupture and repair is organized first in the individual. Each of us arrives at the emerging "we-space" with somatic and biographical, cultural, and archetypal patterning, schemas, and implicit worlds of meaning-making about relationships. Intertwining of all these threads weaves the interactional/relational field. And in addition to the companionship, play and coming together and moving apart, a third entity is sheparded into the dynamic. We call this third element "the relationship . . ." The sum of the whole, greater than its parts.

Close personal relationships can be so achingly painful, while simultaneously being the most majestic and transmutative temple. Co-regulation, co-articulation, and exploration of the shared experience, creates a kind of transparency enabling us to see ourselves and reveal ourselves to each other. opening our hearts and minds to the safety of empathic resonance. But the core of that opening and expansion is tender and sensitive, and will ask everything of us, dissolving the dream of the way we thought it was all going to turn out. This dissolution is not an error or mistake, but is the seat of sustainable intimacy.

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