My apprentice often called me, upset because there were
no “good men” out there. She had been in so many relationships, she said, waiting for a man that would
be present and show his feelings. She told me that she was
often fooled, thinking a particular man wanted to share
with her in a deeper way, but soon realized he did not.
“Is it true,” she often asked, “that all
men are emotionally unavailable?”
you do when you realize your man is not available to you
emotionally?” I asked her one day. “Well,
I usually try to figure out what is wrong, and how I can
encourage him to tell me what is going on with him. But
they just don’t want to answer me,” she said,
followed with a sigh of resignation.
I understood her
pain, because I have heard this story from many people,
both men and women. They want someone to be open, to share
feelings with them, and to be emotionally available. After
many years of “research,” I have finally discovered
the reason that so many people find themselves in relationships
with an emotionally unavailable partner. Want to know
It is because
they are emotionally unavailable themselves!
It seems obvious
when I say it perhaps, but many people do not want to
acknowledge their own difficulty with emotional intimacy,
but instead blame their partner (or lack of partner) for
In my previous
article, I defined intimacy as “our willingness to
be open and present and share ourselves with others,”
and offered that when two people can share this openness
and presence, they can be said to have an “intimate
relationship.” I also described how we were forced
to deny our feelings and deep truth during our childhood
domestication, so we could meet the demands of our domesticators
to think and be like them. We literally had to deny our
awareness of our own emotional truth in order to survive.
we find “love” in our adult lives, it stimulates
all the fears and strategies of our childhood experience
with love. If we learned to be afraid of expressing our
emotional reality in our first love experience, it is very
unlikely that we will be comfortable, or even willing, to
express ourselves freely in our adult love experiences.
We must re-learn how to be emotionally present.
Since we have
lost the connection between our emotions and our awareness
(through rigorous self-training), the first step is to
become aware that we have lost that connection. The next
important step is to realize that without full awareness
and expression of our feeling truth, we are not fully
alive. We are using the strategies we learned in childhood
to manipulate our reality in order go please other people—we
are not being ourselves.
Once you know
you have lost that connection, and you are passionately
willing to risk anything to restore it, you are on your
way to emotional freedom. From there you will attract
the guidance and healing you need to tune into your body,
open the connection to your awareness, develop a language
for the emotional energy you experience, and share that
truth with the ones you love. You may find old emotional
baggage from the past mixing with your present reality,
and that is okay. It is all you, and all true.
When you learn
to discharge and clear the old angers, hurts, fears, and
shames of childhood, you will open more presence into
the subtle feelings of each moment. They may express themselves
simply as “I like this, I don’t like this.
I want this, I don’t want this.”
The most important
victory in this process is developing emotional intimacy
with yourself. Perhaps my definition of “intimacy”
should be “a willingness to be open and present
with our own feeling truth in each moment.” This
is intimacy with ourselves. Whether we are men or women,
unless we are present with ourselves in this way we cannot
expect to be attractive or attracted to people who are
emotionally present with themselves.
apprentice came to learn that her “problem”
was not with the men in her life, but with her own fear
of emotional intimacy with herself. She has now learned
to open with love to the Divine perfection of everything
she feels, thinks, wants, needs, loves, desires, and fears.
All of her relationships now reflect that emotional intimacy
that she thought for so long was missing in the world. And
she is IN love with life.