In our last retreat for couples called Body Awakening, my beloved and I shared a model to understand the mechanisms of protection and vulnerability that surface in relationships. This model is inspired from the book Face to Face with Fear from Dr Thomas Krish Trobe.
It is about how we relate in intimate relationships, when we get triggered in our wounds that we carry with us from childhood. It can be the wound of rejection, the wound of abandonment or the wound of humiliation, just to mention a few. When we travel deeper into an intimate relationship, we inevitably encounter these wounds. They were so devastating to feel as child, that we learned, over the years, different strategies to protect ourselves from feeling them.
The model represent three circles surrounding each other, where the outer circle is our protection layer, the middle circle is our vulnerability and the third innermost circle is our essence.
As a child, the capacity to protect ourselves is a positive thing, because without it, we wouldn’t have survived the intensity of the energies coming to us. As adults, we are strong enough to face and feel the pain, but we are so identify and attached to our protections, that we live in it unconsciously. Some examples of being in this layer are blaming, controlling, reacting and withdrawing.
If we stay in the protection layer, we end up in a fight, or what I call the “relationship hole”. In intimate relationships, clashes happen when both partners are in the protection layers, and in these moments, we cannot heal .
When we become aware that a wound is activated and we take the courageous step to move into the second circle of our vulnerability, exposing ourselves and feeling the pain, we can start to heal the cellular memories. This is not a comfortable place to be, but it opens the doors to the inner circle, the essence, which is who we really are behind the veils of protection and the wounded child.
Understanding and cultivating awareness in those moments of being triggered is an important factor. Without that, we cannot detect what is going on and we just go on with the automatic reaction of protecting ourselves. It feels more safe to be in this layer, but we cut the connection with our essence and nothing can really happen there, we can’t access our full potential and uniqueness. Cultivating self-love, creating the most loving relationship with your inner child and becoming your own best caretaker, anchoring compassion, trust and patience is also a necessary step to heal ourselves.
What is really beautiful, apart from the work we do with ourselves, is what we explore in the journey of Living Intimacy, where together with our beloved, we can support each other in those moments of unraveling old fears and pain. It can be for example through bodywork or being assisted through a breath session or just having your beloved holding space for you, being present with you.
In my relationship with Elie, I have recently opened up to an even deeper layer of healing and the other day, I was doing a breath session while he was pulsing and touching my body, as I was crying, shivering and my teeth were chattering, everything at the same time. After some time it felt like the energy shifted into feeling very alive and we ended up making love, where I felt I was allowing him into my being and my heart more than ever before.
The Living Intimacy retreats for lovers are for me the most beautiful and profound way to bring more love, light and power into our life. To also attract more of what we are longing for and let go of old patterns that prevent our light to shine fully. Living Intimacy is a journey where we open to more love, connection and complicity with our partner, as we learn to love ourself more and open the doors to our soul to express the uniqueness of who we really are.