Thursday, November 24, 2011

A Year of Gratitude - Day One Hundred Sixty-one

Day 161 - Checking Motives
I had an interesting experience today - nothing special, but it brought clarity.
An acquaintance from Southern Oregon was visiting Portland this weekend, and we had a chance to get together briefly before he returned home.  It was a nice meeting - he’s a pleasant person with an upbeat demeanor.  We talked about a number of things, but the subject that bubbled up at one point was “intimacy.”
Since I recently began dating again, I have thought about intimacy - what is real intimacy vs. just physical attraction, connection, and/or emotional closeness?  What transforms a more casual relationship or physical interaction to a genuine sharing of vulnerabilities?  I am not even going to look the word up in the dictionary because I’m not talking about an academic definition; I am exploring what goes into a deeper relationship, emotionally speaking.  For me.
The visit with my friend caused me to further challenge myself: when I meet and engage someone who triggers certain feelings, what are my motives?  Am I looking for a momentary validation, or something more lasting?  Does this person’s energy resonate simply within my physical needs, or am I wholly edified by the character this person presents?  How can I tell if it is real?
While I don’t expect today's visit to lead toward a deep and lasting friendship, I am glad for the conversation; it has helped me put my important relationships into perspective, and to appreciate them all the more.

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