Ego, Relationships, and Intimacy: I’d Like to Get to Know You!
(Mike DePung — Post II.14)
Humans desire intimacy; in fact, this comprises one of our most basic needs.
If this is so, why does so much disfunction exist over matters of intimacy? Perhaps the better question would be why we experience so little true intimacy. Or perhaps an even better question may be this: If we crave intimacy so deeply yet it is the source of so much pain, why do we bother with it?
Let me clue you in to something. There are some things about which we as human beings have no choice in. Allow me to qualify that: there are some things we have no choice in once we are here. Before we arrive in time and space, we have a choice, but to live in a mortal body requires conditions common to each of us.
We want intimacy because when we choose birth as a human being, it means we come here with Spirit within us in order to allow pure Spirit energy to experience its own creation, in a sense our own creation. That desire for Spirit to connect through these bodies is exactly the reason why we crave intimacy, why we desire connections and relationships with others. It’s why we hunger and thirst as explorers to know this Universe. It’s ours to make discoveries and connections with all aspects of it we wish to.
The paradox of all this enters when we take on this body of flesh and blood. We come equipped with Ego, because Ego serves important functions for physical survival. However, since Ego is our default processing system to deal with physical survival, it ends up acting against any force which would threaten us — like following dreams and passions and risking censure of the others, society at large. Irony. Paradox. Tension. Creation and Growth.
Acknowledging Heart, recognizing ourselves as beings of Spirit, affronts Ego. It rationalizes and uses all those survival techniques of blending in, maintaining the status quo, pleasing others — sometimes by excelling, sometimes by self-sabotaging, sometimes by casting ourselves in total dependence at their feet. Yet we still desire connections, intimacy.
This often results in confusion of Ego and Heart interactions. Heart seeks relationships, and Ego modifies the desires to establish intimacy. How does this modification occur? Look around and take notes. We try to please others. We don’t express our true feelings. We hide things. We flaunt things. We act in so many antithetical ways that shout “Come close” and then sabotage that intimacy through these Ego actions.
We see the results, and most of us have participated and experienced them first-hand. Broken relationships with parents, siblings, other family, friends, lovers, spouses, children. While some of these can be redeemed, the catalyst of discord, the source of destruction is Ego. We don’t have to experience the sorrow of such things. But we do. It’s life as mortals, humans. So, how do we deal with it?
Let’s start with a how-not-to-deal with the emotional hurt of loss of intimacy or denial of it. That would be making the decision to never be intimate with anyone. That decision is a direct product of Ego, whose function is to isolate and protect. Is that, then, a viable choice to allow the source that creates the problem to solve the problem? That’s like giving complete control to a dictator to fix the problem of one person rule. Yeah, you get the picture.
What does need to happen? We desire intimacy in various aspects, and we should know that in this Ego-steeped, soaked, and misinformed world, problems will occur, which usually means hurt. Our response should be one of offense, not defense. The offense is to get to know core Self, Heart, that integral of Spirit in us, as thoroughly as possible: Who am I? Then, create with that power and reality of Spirit: How do I want to be happy here? The impact of the answers to these questions on individuals will lead to intimate connections we crave.
But we still can be hurt, which is why I feel we must persist in fellowship with our Heart — if we want fullness, significance, peace, happiness, and true intimacy. How does fellowship with Heart help? Heart faithfully, at least for me, clues me in to those workings of Ego. I learn to allow Ego to dissolve, peel away layer by layer, leaving my core Self, the true Me, to deal with life and relationships and love. I learn to call on Heart more instantaneously when Ego rears its self-righteous head, and Heart issues the response. Let it go. Expose with light. Laugh.
Whatever is necessary to engender core Self and our happiness is given by Heart. I have never in these past years called on Heart when I didn’t hear or sense an immediate response, and that is NEVER tempered by what anyone else might or might not think. I need not worry about that if my motive force is love. If others don’t respond, well, they need to deal with their Ego.
What I have discovered is that when I allow this Ego self and not only its facades but also its fortresses to dissolve under the winds of Spirit, so many hurts from the past dissolve, too. Understanding occurs and intimacy with my core Self and eternal Spirit are strengthened. When that happens, I expect my relationships with others will be enriched too, at least with those in the fellowship of the Heart, or however they choose to denominate this spiritual experience.
Yes, I crave loving relationships with other Ego-besotted human beings, because I am Spirit and because I understand because I also have Ego. I know not all are where I am. I know I may be misunderstood and actions taken against me to try and hurt me when others process through Ego. It’s okay. I get it. And I will love myself and others anyway.
However, the development of intimacy will only occur with those who are growing, releasing Ego self and Ego structures, because healthy intimacy must be grounded, balanced, and mutual. I’m working on it. I hope you are, too. And I look forward to the time when, because we are in time and space, we can share face to face in whatever form of relationship we feel is appropriate.
Until then, richest, intimate blessings!