I look at the photo above and feel physical and emotional closeness. Intimacy. Finally being able to connect on that level fills my heart with so much joy. It’s kinda .. funny how quickly and radically I tend to shut myself off from people when the greatest desire within me, the thing that keeps me going, is to connect with others. But today I find myself where I’ve always wanted to be.
For years I’ve longed for people I could share my deepest feelings with. I’ve wished for friends with whom I can share the intimacy that comes from knowing each other’s dark places. I’ve longed for friendships in which touches and hugs feel natural. There was so much longing, but a certain dread has always held me back.
It’s so hard to reveal your darkest secrets you’d rather hush up and ignore. Even more when you’re an insecure loner and struggle with self-hate. And as if this emotional barrier wasn’t enough, there’s also an innate blockade preventing me from being physically close to others in a platonic way. How can there be so many conflicts within a person?
We can’t expect things to change if we don’t do anything about it. So I decided to be brave. I started sharing my raw thoughts and feelings. I stopped running away from difficult situations. I showed more and more skin in my self-portraits and somewhere along the way, some friends turned out to be rather touchy. Put all this together and bang, the door to a new world opens, I stumble over the step and there I stand with big eyes.
I’m not going to lie – this level of intimacy is intense. So intense I struggled with it at the beginning.
I was raised with very conservative values. Showing skin wasn’t – isn’t – okay. I wish it was different, but my sense of shame used to be super high, only decreasing slowly. Additionally, even though I like physical contact, I wasn’t used to it, so it always came with some confusion. I was one of the most inhibited people I knew and I hated it.
But I endured the uncomfortable conflicts and mess. And here I am – embracing intimacy as the blessing it is. I can bare both my body and soul without any shame. Today I’m finally able to show who I truly am, flaws and all, and feel loved and appreciated anyways. And thanks to that, the connections I make become even deeper, too.
I love that I attract inspiring souls by being brave and becoming who I want to be. In the past months, I’ve met people who are wonderfully honest and sincere. Vulnerable. It’s a rare thing in a world in which you always have to guard what you say. These people have a certain air of innocence and ease. They are good for me; I crave their presence, feel a bit addicted to them. They inspire me.
Because I’m still not as brave as I’d like to be. There are still too many things I don’t dare to talk about. Voicing them might change everything and I’m afraid of scaring people away. But when I think of the way I want to live, I remember I don’t want fear to dictate what I feel or do. I don’t want to look back and see a life only half-lived because of the boundaries and constraints imposed by society.
I want to remember bumps and bruises and grazed knees, but also the deeply satisfying happiness that comes from living without giving in to fear. So I’m going to say those things that scare me. Yes, people might get hurt. Maybe my heart will get hurt. But what’s the point of staying on the safe path and abstaining of being true to myself?
I look at the image above and feel empowered. There’s a fire burning within me and I desire to share it with the world.