Intimacy with the Self
Intimacy is not just with other; it is with the self. When I am fully aware of all that is arising within me - my body, my emotions, my mind - then I am being intimate with myself. Too often, in the search for connection, looking everywhere but within, we walk around disconnected from our own being.
The reasons for this disconnection are many and understandable. Perhaps we don't want to engage with our own pain. Perhaps our lives are too busy and too distracting. Perhaps we have simply gone on auto pilot. Perhaps we have been brainwashed to think that attention to one's self is selfish. Perhaps we are in the grips of an addiction - to substances, entertainment, social media - that takes our attention away from our own experience.
This rift in self-intimacy has many costs. We can miss the important information that pain can provide. We can miss a world of delight and pleasure.
The costs are not borne by us alone, either. Compassion has its roots in our connection with our own pain, so when we are disconnected from that, we are less able to detect and have empathy for the pain of others.
Thus, practices which help us to stay in touch with our own experience are indeed acts of divine generosity.