Emotional Proximity

Why is it that with some people we can let down our guard and feel totally comfortable and yet with others the steel walls just won’t crack! With some we can eat from the same plate and sip from the same drink, and others we keep at an arm’s length.

It is a common fact that North Americans need three feet of space between them when conversing and yet South Americans (or those from warmer climates) require only a few inches of personal space. What defines our comfort level of proximity?

The act of falling in love is also an act of letting down our guard – allowing the other person to enter our mind and heart and then the whole life – until there is no division – remembered often as one soul and two bodies.

Have you wondered why it is that in anger we have to shout and in love we only need to whisper – even if the physical proximity is the same! So what is the difference? LOVE and an open heart!

Our physical and more importantly emotional proximity is often determined by how willing and open we are to listen to and understand the other; to care for and share with others. For example, stepping into a room filled with ten people can feel overwhelming if you don’t know them. But if all were friends or relatives or siblings, then even ten can seem a small number.

Needing “space” is more about needing mental space, if there is not the meeting of minds. When one feels safe, accepted and loved, one need not put up any fences. Most of our defence is self defence. In our vulnerability, we are unsure of how we will be accepted and so we “protect” ourselves by staying away, dis-engaging, being polite and quiet, etc.

Ultimately, how close we feel to somebody will be in relation to how close I feel to myself. We deny ourselves the right to engage because of many of our own emotions (fears, sensitivity, and pain). If I am secure in my truth then I need not battle and I can give freely from my heart. If my heart is full then I can let go of the fear that someone might hurt me. In reality it is my own reactions to the behaviour of others that is causing me pain. If I come from a place of ‘giving’ then I will be too busy to ‘take’ sorrow from any situation. Thus no defences necessary.

To create a one world family, we need to open our hearts and minds – embrace all. Be less judgmental and more accepting. If we are to create a world in which there are no barriers, then we need to firstly make friends with ourselves, and then do what comes naturally… BE love and GIVE love.

It’s time… to recognize that the walls that I’ve built around me only serve to isolate, not protect me. Letting go of them can open me up to a whole new world of possibilities.

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