It is not easy to be intimate in conscious relationship. In fact, everything we learned as children goes against our adult desire for intimacy and relationship. Frankly, our beloved parents taught us a bunch of lies. It wasn’t their fault, the lies were taught to them, and taught by generations before them. Lies. Agreements and beliefs that were so contradictory and absurd that anyone with any sense of logic would cry “foul!” But we believed, and we taught, and we preserved, and we immersed ourselves in those lies.

We can escape. It is never too late to have a rational adulthood. It is never too late to change our dream, to re-program the lies downloaded into our minds, and create lives based on truth, presence, and true intimacy. Someone told me recently that it sounded like a lot of work. My reply was: “Yes, it’s true, it takes some effort, but think about how much effort it takes to obey rules that make no sense, to keep agreements that go against our very nature, and to justify and defend beliefs that were never ours in the first place.”

My road map to intimacy. How do we get from here to there? Or, better, how do we get home to here from there? How do we reclaim our truth, our deepest reality, and bring it into relationships of all kinds? It starts with an intimacy with ourselves. We must recognize and honor our own truth, our own feeling reality, before we can share it in relationship with another.

The first awareness we must embrace is that our feelings are a precious part of our life. As Little Ones we were often made wrong for our emotional expressions. Now it is time to change the agreement we made back then, the one that said our emotions and feelings were a problem that needed to be solved, with repression and/or punishment. It is time to recognize that as unique expressions of an unfathomable source of Life, each of us has been created with an equally unique set of feeling expressions. Rather than being a problem to be solved, I would suggest that our feelings are the only manual we have been given for the operation of our individual special human experience of Life.

Once we accept that our feelings are important guides to our lives, we need to be willing to risk finding out how we feel. Sounds simple, but sometime it isn’t easy! A woman told me recently that when she asks her husband what he is feeling, his response is either “I’m fine” or “I don’t know.” That doesn’t give either of them much to work with.

So, we must become students of feelings. What does it mean to feel something? Our bodies feel emotions. My rule is, “If you can’t feel it in your body, it isn’t a feeling.” Can your body feel “betrayed?” Nope. When you think you have been betrayed, your body will feel something; maybe anger, hurt, or fear. Can your body feel “disrespected?” Nope. Same deal. Can you feel anger in your body? Yup, you bet! Anger is a feeling, betrayed is not.

Once you learn what feelings are, then you will need the courage to feel them. If you learned they were the enemy (“Go to your room until you stop crying and discuss this reasonably”), you will need to change some old fears and agreements to free yourself to feel what you feel.

Then comes the dangerous part: Expressing your feelings to another. Whew! You will always risk rejection—but you will also, sometimes, be rewarded with true intimacy.

Is it worth the risk? Yes! Perhaps we can’t really be intimate until we are willing to say, “I feel hurt (period).” No blame, no fixing-- just “I feel hurt.” Or “I feel angry.” When we are truly intimate with our own feelings, and willing to risk sharing them with another, only then are we truly being intimate.

Go for it! With love.

Author's Bio: 

Allan Hardman is a relationship coach, author, teacher, and Toltec Master, trained by Miguel Ruiz in the tradition The Four Agreements. He teaches in Sonoma County, CA, and guides “Journeys of the Spirit” to sacred sites and tropical beaches in Mexico and beyond. He is the author of The Everything Toltec Wisdom Book, and co-author of two books with Deepak Chopra and others. For information about his work with The New Relationship, spiritual coaching, journeys, and to subscribe to his free e-newsletter, Or call (707) 528-1271. E-mail comments: