Reflections about Intimacy in Our Lives | Picture Book Professor

Reflections about Intimacy in Our Lives

By Jim Holbrook

Paul Parkin has a wonderful TED Talk about the challenges and benefits of creating, receiving, and co-creating empathy:

I want to talk about “intimacy” which occurs through co-creating empathy.
Humans have a deep hunger for the interpersonal connections of emotional intimacy. We feel existentially alone in the Cosmos and we profoundly need another to “see” and “know” and “accept” us as we really are, warts and all, while we are still alive.
Intimacy creates a safe space for disclosing our deepest pain, shame, needs, and dreams, as well as a safe space in which to feel and express unconditional love. In intimacy, we learn so much about ourselves, others, and the world around us that we cannot learn on our own. Intimacy empowers our greatest creativity. The “fullness” feeling of intimacy also may be our closest human experience of immortality on earth.
In our culture, however, we conflate emotional intimacy with sexual intimacy (which destroys emotional intimacy). We also do not provide children an awareness of the existence and importance of intimacy nor do we give them the tools to co-create it in adolescent and adult relationships. How sad it is to see relationships struggle or end when both parties desperately want the same thing—intimacy—but helplessly fail to co-create it.

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