Intimacy is Forged Through Conflict

Posted: August 10, 2010 in theSlice

Intimacy is Forged Through Conflict

My heart is hurting because a guy kicked me in the teeth for doing something he didn’t like.  Cut me off at the knees, no warning, no 3-strikes you’re out. Foregoing the debate as to whether the transgression was wrong or not, the situation brings up my introspection on the idea that resounds through my ache — that through conflict, intimacy is forged.

Breaking it down, all the words in that phrase are relative — through,… conflict,… intimacy,… and forged.

Our individual concepts of CONFLICT are based on our history and teachings — patterns, imprinting, bad/good-habits, desire to be better.  Conflict is running 5k and feeling like shit yet doing it anyways and ending up stronger.  Conflict is having a friend tell you you’re being an ass and you realizing they’re right.  Conflict is wanting to do the wrong thing.  Conflict is feeling lost and having to learn how to ask for help. Conflict is letting-go of the self-imposed rigidity of being everything to everyone and giving yourself permission to take care of you.  Regardless of whether it’s physical, emotional, or mental, they are opportunities for self-growth, which basically I believe translates to spiritual.  The PERCEPTION of conflict is almost more important than the actual reality of whether it’s true or not.  If we feel stress/strife/struggle/indecision/paralyzed/onslaught… it’s a conflict. How we react or respond to it (being two separate actions),… how we feel about it, what we DO about it,… how we resolve it and how we grow from it (learn), is the ULTIMATE truth.  Do we avoid it at all costs, run (hide)? Do we stand and face it boldly, deal with our situation? Do we repress it and pretend like everything’s okay or not-happening? Do we deflect, joke, retaliate, reject?

FORGED is what I’d like to think, a warrior term — we are made noble and honorable when we authentically deal with adversity.  To make a sword, metals are amalgamated, melted, pounded, folded, then cooled — to become something sharp and stable, able to defend,… or maim.  It isn’t about the instrument it’s about how it is wielded. It isn’t about being metal, it’s about the fact that it had to go through a PROCESS — to become, transform, into something… potential. Meaning it’s not about my killing you that stops war, it’s about your perceived threat of deadliness that that will. And true power isn’t about pushing it on you, it’s about us having a mutual respect that it’d just be dumb for us to go at it because I might end up losing an arm (even if I end up winning the argument.)  A person secure in their own right feels no need to impose their will on you, but to live peacefully because it is the right thing to do.  They learn this from mistakes, they learn this from growing up, they learn this because it’s just nicer to have people love you, not fear you. Forged,… is what happens after complications turn into a rich blend of serene coexistence. That means, I might be Sybil, but once I grasp that all those different pieces within me are still me,…accept the unacceptable and be okay with it.

INTIMACY is a tricky one. To steal from a wise teacher of mine, it is “into me, see.” Similar to muscular ability, it is something weak or strengthened, atrophied or powerful. It is a pain in the ass to let the real me out, it is accompanied by the angst of letting you see it, judge it.  And pain is conflict.

THROUGH — is that place that none of us feel we’ll make it to the other side. The one beyond whatever wonderful gift-of-an-ordeal the universe has determined will be the best thing to make us grow.  For many, for me, even positive-appearing things cause disturbance. Too much of a good thing makes that scared(and scarred)-kid-inside wonder when the other shoe is going to drop. A lot of blessing coming in one whack, we feel overwhelmed and unworthy… untrusting. Why is this happening to me, what have I done to deserve this? Have some BAD shit conflict come your way it’s always difficult to grasp that in TIME, it might be the most righteous thing that ever happened to you.  You have to make it through it — to get it. (Experience is that thing you get right AFTER you need it.)

When we’re caught up in a world alone, we decide things from a chorus of voices inside us — ego, instinct, reprimanding-parent, petulant-child, kicked-dog — contradictory dreams affect our history and tap us in different directions in a maze. We become confused as to which voice is OURS… muddling trapped between the parts,… the angelic, the retaliating self-protecting fear, the adult, the demon.  All of those… are in me.  But the discerning guideline I’ve coaxed from the braid is… is it based in LOVE? Am I doing this, kicking you, because it’s based in love? Am I watching out for me because it’s based in love, or trying to teach you a lesson? Am I striking out because you hit too close to home and I don’t want to see the truth? Am I breaking up with you because I am afraid that I’m not a big enough person to see it through? Am I running because you’re not-good for me, or am I staying because I don’t have the guts to leave? Am I simply unequipped to handle the throes of intimacy so I have to push you away? Am I afraid of love because I’ve never had it before so I don’t know what I’m dealing with.

Ask yourself — is it based in LOVE.

I had a traumatic childhood (my perception) and I’ve learned self-defense-mechanisms to survive. Growing up meant that I had to learn the difference of when NOT to apply those tactics when it was NOT a matter of survival, but rather an echo of my own fear. (I will never ever EVER let anyone do this to me again or make me FEEL this way again because it was bad and wrong and who cares if you’re not the person who did it to me.) I have made vows to not let anyone close — let ‘em in, and they could strike a death blow.  Keep ‘em at a distance, they might not be able to do so much harm.  But keeping away the POSSIBILITY of love… now that one… that’s damaging to ME.  The possibility of love through closeness means I have to get over my damn self, my damn FEARS, risk rejection, risk pain, risk embarrassment — so that maybe I might find an ally, a friend.  So that maybe I might BE a friend.  In order for me to be a person that you might trust and rely, I have to ante up — and allow you to be that for me.  Sounds contradictory, huh?  But nowhere on this earth, have I learned that God has a “get one to give one” policy.  You show me you love me FIRST, then I’ll return the favor.  You trust me FIRST, then I’ll show you I am trustworthy.  You be a good person FIRST, then I’ll be good. NoooOOooo, he likes to fuck with our heads and do it ass-backward.  The universe has always rewarded those who follow law-of-attraction — give what you want to get, BE who/what you want to receive.

I grew up with the intense fear that anyone who found out what I was really like, would leave me. They would run away in disgust, screaming. I tried to do the self-fulfilling-prophecy thing for awhile, but yea, that didn’t work out so good. I was saved by people who for some stupid REASON, decided that I was a redeeming person worth loving, worth KNOWING… and I started to believe that I was worthy.  Worthy to contribute, worthy to participate, worthy to have a voice, worthy to make mistakes — worthy to not be so afraid of rejection and abandonment all the time,… that I.  Could stick around through the pretty and the ugly — to see where it would go.

My real friends saw my heart underneath the bad behavior.  My real friends made their mind up to give me chance, after chance, after chance — even when I wouldn’t have wanted to give me another chance.  My real friends saw me for me and accepted it even when I couldn’t.  My real friends had enough balls to tell me when they knew I was screwing up.  Every moment of those instances were CONFLICT.  I lived through them, WE lived through them.  I didn’t DIE when someone saw the real me.  Our relationship grew from what we knew of each other, our trust and faith grew, our love grew.  I am not even halfway through my life and the most important thing I have learned?  Is that I KNOW nothing.  It is love that saves me.

To the guy who kicked me I bless you and release you to your fate that you will make.  I am an amazing woman — someone worth knowing.  You will not reap the benefit of this, but my friends do.  You wanna know how I know this?  Because they tell me.  And I trust my real friends.

  1. Kenya says:

    This is kinda awesome…I want the book.

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