Richard Rohr: The Dance of Intimacy

I’m learning more and more that intimacy is about knowing my identity found only in God (who is Love).  I must hear the words of belonging, belovedness, and blessedness from Love (God) so that I can have a self to offer in intimacy.  Sometimes intimacy is not happening because the other is not dancing.  They don’t have a healthy sense of identity as found in God.  So it causes them not to have a self to offer in order to dance.  Too often, we blame the other for our shortcomings or lack of self-worth.  Yet, we must return to the voice of Love to claim our self-worth in God.  The following is adapted from Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditations:


 

A relationship demands two. So the first step in the dance of intimacy is an appropriate sense of self. We all know stories about teenagers or even older people who give themselves away to another person in the hope of finding themselves. It never works, of course, but it’s not their fault. They must not have gotten those mirror neurons from the gaze of love to know who they were. So they think this handsome man or this beautiful woman is going to take care of me and is going to give me my identity.

In the story of Moses and the burning bush, there is first of all an allurement, a seduction and attraction, a fascinating experience (the bush that is burning but not consumed). Moses is attracted to it. Then Yahweh says, “Take off your shoes. Come no nearer.” God is not calling Moses to enmeshment or loss of his own self. Yahweh is telling Moses, “I know who I am, and you are about to enter into an experience of the sacred with me, but stand your ground. Come no nearer.” God honors the other as distinct. So love is not absorption, love is not a martyr complex where you let other people use you. When you know your inherent divine identity, you are truly ready to participate in the sacred dance of intimacy. And in the dance of love there must be at least two.

Adapted from Intimacy: The Divine Ambush , disc 2 and 4
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Gateway to Silence:
The gaze of God receives me exactly as I am.