Many of us think of intimacy as strictly "sexual intimacy", in other words sex. Though sex and romance may come to mind first, but intimacy plays a role in all types of you relationships.
Intimacy is a choice to open yourself up to others and share who you are and your experiences so that you can create lasting, strong connections. When you put yourself out there and have that trust returned, you develop intimacy.
If those efforts are criticized, or you're rejected in some way, you may withdraw. Fears of being dismissed, disregarded, or hurt may lead you to separate yourself from others. Ultimately, this can lead to low self-esteem, which may make you even less likely to venture out to develop relationships or new friendships.
Intimacy falls into several different categories, including:
Emotional intimacy is what allows you to tell your loved ones personal things that you might not necessarily share with strangers. Think of it as letting your guard down. As you learn that you can trust someone, you feel safe enough to let your walls down and not be afraid to be judged for whatever you share.
Intellectual intimacy involves getting to know how another person’s mind works and sharing the map to your mind too. It builds as you exchange ideas and have meaningful conversations.
Physical intimacy is about touch and closeness between bodies. In a romantic relationship, it might include holding hands, cuddling, kissing, and sex. A warm, tight hug is an example of physical intimacy with a friend. This is oner of primary human needs since childhood that continues to adulthood and greatly to the sense of safety and security. One of the association we have with being safe is to be hold.
Experiential intimacy is build by spending quality time with someone and growing closer over common interests and activities.
Spiritual intimacy includes bonding around the belief in something beyond the physical realm of existence.
Key factors within any intimate relationship:
Acceptance of each other just the way you both are
Feeling safe to be vulnerable
Affection: caring about each other is one thing, but you also build intimacy by showing that you care.
Communication and making sure that both sides fully understand the meaning and intentions behind words. People overly sensitive to rejection are prone to misread words and facial expreassions making almost everything sound as they were rejected in one way or another.
If you have a fear of intimacy, you’re not the only one and there are ways to overcome it.
Fist of all, you don’t have to feel ashamed of having your guard up when you understand why you put it up in the first place. For example, fear of intimacy would be an understandable response to trauma like sexual assault or childhood neglect.
After abuse, we may try to protect ourselves from judgment and further harm by isolating from the rest of the world.
One you’ve identified what helps you feel safe and what triggers your fear, you can now intentionally set the boundaries you want to keep and start to shift away from the ones that aren’t useful anymore.
Another important aspect in building intimacy is to remember to communicate about your feelings. It’s hard to build trust with someone who doesn’t even know that you’re having a hard time.
If you have a romantic partner, you can tell them it’s difficult for you to let people in and you’re working on it. If you feel comfortable enough, you can also share what you’re afraid of and where your fears come from.
It’s OK to tell the people in your life what you need from them in order to feel safe in your relationships.
Get professional help.
At times we can all use some support with facing our fears. Aromatherapy, flower essence therapy and a mental health professional like a therapist can offer that.
A professional can also help you:
figure out how your fear of intimacy started
work through serious issues like trauma
identify if a mental health condition like avoidant personality disorder or depression is involved
In my flower essence therapy and aromatherapy practice I see a lot of clients with different issues related to intimacy. Flower essences are a vibrational medicine (like homeopathy, sound, or crystals) that bring the resonance of healing flowers into the subtle energy system. Transforming our subtle energy field in this way has a direct and immediate impact on our cells, our physical body, and our health. Below are my favorite flower remedies to address various aspects of intimacy problems.
Sticky Monkeyflower addresses issues of the second chakra, sexuality and relationship, and the fear of warmth and connection. It is typically indicated for those who feel awkward with intimate expressions and have fear of emotional or sexual intimacy due to past hurts. Their sexuality may be repressed, or acted out in a way that is disconnected from the heart. The lesson of the Sticky Monkeyflower is to experience sexuality and all types of intimacy as a true, caring, heart connection.
Pink Monkeyflower deals with the delicate feelings of vulnerability of the heart, the feelings of shame that cause one to withdraw and fear contact with others. It helps with holding yourself back from expressing intimate feelings out of fear of rejection. Pink Monkeyflower teaches us to have the courage to take the risk to touch and be touched by others, emotionally and physically.
Holly restores your soul's ability to feel unity and wholeness, balances jealousy and envy towards others, developing compassionate acceptance and joy for others. I opens heart to feel loving, feel loved, heartfelt compassion and inclusion of others.
Baby Blue Eyes assist with excessive detachment, numbness towards life events and lack of trust.
All the above flower remedies are included in Maitri Verde's Connection Flower Essence Elixir which I recommend as a main remedy to work on building all types of intimacy mentioned above based on trust and self-confidence.
Are you ready to open up? Yes, open up, because building intimacy also includes the component of healing the broken heart and opening it again to unconditional love, trust, and forgiving the past. Without the component of heartfelt forgiveness and allowing yourself to be vulnerable - there is no way for building intimacy. That is my the second remedy I recommend is Heart Opener Flower Essence Elixir.
Building intimacy also requite courage to face your fear of rejection and also to overcome the fear of giving voice to your needs, desires, insecurities and to set healthy boundaries with your romantic partner, friends and family. That is my the third remedy I recommend is Lion's Heart Flower Essence Elixir.
Essential oils are another valuable companions for emotional healing when working with fear of intimacy and processing underlying emotional trauma. Smell is the only one of our five senses that is directly linked to the lobe of the brain that houses our emotions and is shown to have a direct effect on the limbic system. Along with all positive emotions, negative emotions such as fear, anger, depression, and anxiety originate from this area.
Essential oils are oils derived from organic pure and lovingly cultivated and sustainably harvested plant sources and have been thought to carry the highest vibrational frequencies of any organic substance on the planet! They start at 52MHz and may go up to a whopping 320 MHz. Essential oils address symptoms at a cellular level by deleting misinformation and reprogramming correct information so that cells function properly and in harmony with one another.
My favorite essential oils for emotional healing are:
Rose Otto: The Oil of Divine Love, 320 MHz. This high vibrational spiritual oil was used for thousands if years. Physicians and healers use it to help open the heart center and strengthen the heart, balancing and charging heart chakra energies almost miraculously. It fight depression, boosts self-esteem,confidence and mental strength.Found in True Self Release and Maitri Aroma formulas that I recommend for healing intimacy problems.
Helichrysum or Immortal Flower: The Oil of Pain, 181 MHz, is another hight frequency spiritual oil. Immortelle is the balm that soothes the pain of the unconscious forces as they come into the light and touch our souls. Its wound healing properties bring disconnected parts of ourselves back together to be held at a central point of alignment. Found in True Self Release and Maitri Aroma formulas that I recommend for healing intimacy problems.
Frankincense: The Oil of Truth, 147 MHz. In addition to alleviating and eliminating depression, Frankincense reveals deceptiveness and false truths. It invites the individual to let go of lower vibrations, insults, and negativity. This spiritual oil helps create new perspectives based on integrity and enlightenment. Frankincense is a powerful cleanser of the spirit. It assists in removing malevolent energies attached to a person, allowing them to open to enlightenment. It addresses the emotions of abandonment and spiritual disconnectedness. Found in True Self Release, Confidence and Maitri Aroma formulas that I recommend for healing intimacy problems.
Bergamot: The Oil of Self-Acceptance, 105 MHz, helps us transfer love back to ourselves. We can be so fixated on wanting other people to make us happy that we forget we can do that for ourselves. Bergamot is uplifting, has natural anti-depressant properties, and helps us to relax and regain self-confidence again.Found in True Self Release, Confidence and Maitri Aroma formulas that I recommend for healing intimacy problems.
Bergamot oil helps us in the areas of self-love, self-worth, self-acceptance, self-judgment, and self-loathing. This oil helps do the work necessary to step out of one’s fears of not being good enough, and habits of holding back for fear of rejection. It instills validation within, allowing us to accept our own authenticity, and not spend so much time worrying about the opinions of others.
It also helps us in processing and releasing fear, blame, the need for approval, toxic shame, and emotional anguish. It may also relieve feelings of incompetence, inadequacy, or worthlessness by helping us step into our own confidence and empowerment.
Melissa with a frequency of 102 MHz is the ultimate oil for emotional detox and combating stress and overwhelm. On a spiritual and emotional realm, Lemon Balm has been used for centuries to harmonize the mind and body. It will help those who are Highly Sensitive (HSPs) and are prone to emotionally shutting down.
You can work with individual organic essential oils or suggested blends of True Self Release, Confidence and Maitri Aroma inhaling the oils regularly at least 3 times a day, applying topically over your 2nd/sacral and 4th/heart chakras or anywhere on the body you feel you need it intuitively.
Intimacy is a quality that you continue to cultivate over time. The more time you spend sharing experiences and feelings, the more elements you have to work with to build intimacy.
If you need further help choosing the right remedy or need to create a healing protocol that addresses your current state of mind-body-soul and your past life experiences - a private session with Anna Bazarnaya could be a good solution for you.