what to do with intimacy violated

Posted: November 17, 2013 in Uncategorized

Intimacy is risky business.  Let’s be clear:  I’m not talking here about sexual intimacy – that’s a whole other topic for a whole other day.  I’m speaking about intimate friendships – the kind where I peel back my public veneer and expose who I really am, what I really think and feel, where I struggle, and what I’m like when the public eye is not on me.

There is the risk that when you know me more, you won’t understand me.

There is the risk that when I know you more, I will discover I don’t like you as much as I thought I did.

There is the risk that one of us will judge the other.

There is the risk that one of us will not maintain confidentiality – that one of us will be the unwitting target of gossip, born from the dangerous place of real vulnerability.

When I tell you my “real stuff,” I trust that you won’t use that information to damage my reputation or my relationship with others. That’s a risk.

When you open your heart to me, you give me a piece of yourself that can be bruised, should I choose not to handle it with care.  That’s a risk.

When I share with you what frightens or frustrates or plagues me, I leave you room to ridicule me, or to speak to me in dismissive tones.  That’s a risk.

When we enter into an intimate level of friendship, we form a bond that, should one of us step back from it, may feel like a tearing or a breaking.

We each have a “trust well” within us.  When we develop an intimate friendship, you add to my well and I add to yours.  When that intimacy is violated, one or both of us may find the level of our well has gone down.  Too many violations, and maybe the well starts to run dry.

When we are wise, we choose our intimate friends with care and caution.

When we experience a violation, we are tempted to turn away, to run away, to end the friendship.

Perhaps, though, we do well to push past that temptation, past that violation.

Perhaps, when considering ending a friendship, we do best when we step into what may feel like a greater risk:  confronting, discussing, and extending forgiveness.

Perhaps the investment of an intimate friendship is such that the risk of further pain is the greatest continued “capital investment” we can choose, in a time of betrayal.

Perhaps restoration will bless both the betrayer AND the injured party.

Perhaps this is part of what Christ referred to when He urged us to pick up our cross and carry it daily.

Just sayin’…perhaps.

 

(This was my Friday blog – getting back to regular life now after our JPUSA visit!)

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