February 5, 2009
Over 20 years ago, I heard an AyurVedic doctor say that it’s important to have commitment before becoming intimate with a partner because without that commitment, the heart becomes shaky and calloused. (AyurVeda is an Indian System of balancing and healing the body.) He explained that intimacy naturally opens the heart, and if it opens in an environment that isn’t tender, callouses form to protect it. That made a lot of sense to me – and made me wonder if the failure rate in our relationships is because we so regularly violate that awareness.
For years I’ve been recommending friends get a book called “Getting to I Do” – whether they want to get married or not. The author provides three criteria before becoming intimate – consistency, (no dropping in and out,) longevity, (thinking long term) and exclusivity (no other intimate partners.) Even for women who don’t want to get married, those criteria can prevent a lot of damage.
Think of the inner sanctuary of your heart as being like a china shop. You’ve got to be careful who you let in. A bull can do an awful lot of damage very quickly.
Of course, most of us are a bit clumsy, and particularly in new relationships, we can unwittingly cause harm. But when you have consistency, longevity and exclusivity, you can repair the damage together when it happens, and learn how to avoid future breakage. My philosophy is, if you want in my china shop, the agreement is if you break it, you help fix it.
It’s important to set boundaries to protect the sensitivities of the heart in friendship as well as love. My friends and I operate on the “if you break it, you help fix it” philosophy as well. But intimate relations touch us at unparalleled depths, and that’s where we really need to keep the bulls out of our china shop – so that our hearts can stay sweet and uncalloused.
“As a reminder not to kid yourself, I link to Johnny River’s song lyrics, “The Snake.”)
Related posts which may interest you
- Intimate Priorities: Make love last by putting your partner first.
- Transcend the Guilt Trap: A glowing memorial and a set-up for regret and remorse
- She played at work and worked at play and wondered why nothing worked.
- Poison Phrase ~ Performance
- He slipped something into her coffee that tasted divine. She wondered what it was, and he confessed it was love.