Intimacy can cause fear, apprehension, even a shutdown of feelings. Rather than exploring the longed-for togetherness, it can all get too overwhelming, causing you to retreat back into your own corner, hesitant to reach out again. Being seen so closely can feel as if you are totally exposed with nowhere to hide. So then you resist and put up an invisible wall in an attempt to protect yourself from such exposure, and from rejection and hurt. However, as much as this wall may protect you, it also shuts you off from your own feelings.
One of the great benefits of a loving relationship is that it provides a safe space for all of these fears—which have never before seen the light of day—to be acknowledged, known and held. In other words, love brings up everything that isn't love. This is especially true as a relationship enters into a deepening familiarity. In the midst of all the good stuff, past hurt, insecurity or self-doubt can emerge, straining a relationship. Yet moments like this are an invitation to embrace yourself and breathe into the fearful places so you can come defenseless into a relationship.
How Ed and Deb overcame their fears and found each other