An Invitation to Explore Intimacy
By: Lara Dustin Scriba
(4 min. read)
Early morning is my favorite time of day, but even more so on the morning of the full moon, knowing I wake enveloped in her reflective energy. Slowly creeping out of bed, I don’t dare wake anyone, as it’s my precious time to write before the world wakes up and demands my attention.
An ethereal time when my mind is still a bit fuzzy, and I can write from the heart. It is a time of connection with myself to tap into the undercurrents that often go unnoticed but desperately need tending to. It is an act of intimacy so tender as each word unfolds, knowing it is an extension of my soul speaking and staking its claim here in the physical world.
This word, intimacy, has been coming up for me over and over again recently, but my curiosity to dive deeper was sparked actually by a fortune cookie. My fortune read, “Love only comes where it is invited,” forcing me to ask the question: where am I actively inviting love or moments of intimacy into my daily life?
This curiosity has been running under the surface as I’ve been traveling and visiting family for the past month. I’m finally sinking back into my normal rhythm of waking and writing, and I couldn’t stop thinking of the many ways that I’ve been able to explore and experience intimacy recently.
The word intimacy can initially conjure up a limited sexualized definition of intimate connection, but truly, it is a feeling of being close, emotionally connected, and supported. By this definition, there are many ways we can experience intimacy in our day-to-day lives. So, where was I experiencing or inviting intimacy into my life?
My fortune cookie was my first nudge. It was the final treat after having an amazing day with my sister and after an amazing meal together. This happened, though, because she had so lovingly organized a girl’s staycation for us at her place. I had three days (sans kids) where I could meet her friends, snuggle her cats, enjoy a full day pampered at her spa, and simply be together, just she and I. It was an act of love I graciously received. There is nothing as wacky, silly, heartfelt, and humbling as sister time. They know all the messy, (seemingly) hidden parts of you and love you, not despite of it, but even more because of it. It’s a priceless love.
A day at the spa is always a luxurious experience for sure, but it is rare for it to feel intimate or maybe feels like it shouldn’t, given its inherent sexual connotation. But I received a facial at my sister’s spa, and I can only explain it as an energetic gift. Receiving energy work is a deeply intimate experience, an exchange of the unspoken. I felt so seen and cared for, as she seemed to know that I desperately needed stillness. At first, her movements felt painstakingly slow to my innate anxious nature. Silence and stillness have always been a struggle for me, which she seemed to know and so lovingly created that space for me in such a tender way. Each movement is thoughtful, patient, and deeply supportive. Tears streamed down my face as I was quietly given permission to unfold.
Coming home from my sister’s staycation, you wouldn’t have known I was gone, my kids immersed in their video games, I received the token teen head nod, acknowledging my return. My heart was happy, though, knowing they had had a wonderful time with my parents learning to drive the tractor and building birdhouses. But later that night, as I sat watching Wheel of Fortune with my parents, I suddenly had two large boys snuggled in my lap, whispering, “We missed you,” giving a quick nuzzle and snuggling in a little tighter.
Slowing down and experiencing these precious moments of connection and support encouraged me to also create time for my husband and me. Maybe it was also the persistence of my Mom and sister to take time to get away. My goodness, it’s so hard to accept support sometimes! But I finally booked not only a hotel room but a honeymoon suite to celebrate our 19th anniversary. If that doesn’t invite intimacy, I don’t know what will! Once again, the key to intimacy seems to be undivided attention. It’s so wonderful what can unfold when we step away from all the distractions. We were able to return back to the family deeply grounded and reconnected after three weeks away from one another. Given precious time to talk uninterrupted over dinner, relax sore muscles in the hot tub, and enjoy a slow morning and hot coffee with nowhere to go was absolutely delightful.
During our visit my parents and I savored the quiet time in the early mornings, giving us adults a few hours to connect before the inherent chaos of kids ensued. Being able to hear their laughter heals a heart like no other. Even after, or more likely because of, 50 years of marriage together they are able to find joy or humor in the most unlikely and irreverent places. We often found ourselves barely being able to catch our breath as they cracked one joke after another. Life has not always been easy for them, yet they make it seem effortless when they are by each other’s side. A quick wink, pat on the bum, or shake of the head, an unsaid love language all on its own.
When we allow ourselves to broaden our traditional definition of intimacy, we are able to extend invitations of love all around us—developing and deepening the levels of emotional connection and support in the most unsuspected spaces, places, and people. Equally as important, we need to provide the opportunity to nurture love and intimacy within ourselves. When we can connect with ourselves and learn how we love to be loved, we create an invitation for others to love us, too.
True intimacy unburdens the heart and expresses undeniable connection and support, offering the safety, space, and time to unfold, to be seen, and to be fully loved exactly as you are.
So, this love note is my invitation to you to explore your definition of intimacy. Ask yourself, where are you already experiencing intimacy, and how will you invite higher levels of love into your life? Because more now than ever, we all could use a little more love in this world.