Wellness Matters NewsletterAn Experience in Creative Journaling

Courtesy of Life Esteem, Published by Simmonds Publications

Evidence Points
to the Healing Power
of Intimate Relationships

     Sometimes we search our entire lives for a feeling of oneness with another person. It's hard to describe, really, what we search for, but we know it when we finally achieve it. Maybe we tire of that dark feeling of being ultimately alone as we struggle through the vicissitudes of life, as every person must. If only there were someone else here, we say to ourselves, who can understand and share these burdens in a deeply personal way. Then it wouldn't be so lonely. Or perhaps, in our more positive moments, we want to share not just the burdens of life but our pleasures, our strength and beauty. We want the powerful impact of our internal experience to have an impression on someone else, as if to say that we count, we are whole and we want to impart this feeling to another person.

     Humans are social beings. Is that why we search for intimacy with others? Is the quest for intimacy the reason we commit ourselves to another person in marriage or other public declarations of loyalty? We experience massive frustration when our committed relationships fail to bring us the promise of intimacy, and this may help to explain the neediness, control, and ultimate option of separation and divorce found in so many relationships. In trying to find intimacy, are we simply searching again for the ultimate feeling of bonding that we felt toward a parent during our infancy? The search for intimacy may be why we form social groups, and it may explain why we quest for spiritual fulfillment in our religious lives. We do not want to be alone. We want to touch and to be touched.


     Contemporary society seems to have produced a feeling of alienation for many people. For all the benefits we derive from living in a highly technological world, we still lack ways to form intimate relationships with other people. In fact, out high tech society seems to fragment our social connections, to drive us away from other people. For example, electronic mail seems to make connecting with other people much easier, but in truth our messages are usually just flashes of ideas -- briefly written, briefly read and instantaneously deleted -- and they barely fulfill our desire for more complete relationships based on our inner experiences. In our modern society, we don't see, hear, or touch other people -- not in person and not to the extent that humans have in the past. What our high tech world has brought us is an abundance of stress in our personal lives. And stress and intimacy are hardly compatible bedfellows.

     To have an intimate connection with another person requires first that we have access to our own personal emotions and ideas. We cannot expect another person to insert intimacy into our lives when we are out of touch with our own internal experiences. We must explore and become familiar with our own personal thoughts and feelings before we can share them with someone else. Our intimate experiences involve our emotional, cognitive, social, physical, sexual and spiritual lives. Two people, each of whom is in touch with his or her own internal experiences, may be able to share an intimate relationship on any one of these levels. True intimacy is one of the ultimate expressions of the human experience. And that may be why we strive so hard to find it.




This newsletter is intended to offer general information only and recognizes that individual issues may differ from these broad guidelines. Personal issues should be addressed within a therapeutic context with a professional familiar with the details of the problems.

La Jolla, CA 92037

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