Would you allow someone else to live in your body? I mean literally live in your body: “Here, this is my body, you can live in it if you like. Please live in it. I’ll withdraw to the back corner while you have fun shovelling the food you like into my body. Do with my body as you please. Help yourself!”
How do you reckon that would work? What would be left of you, for you? How do you think you would ever get someone to move out?
We have a very personal body of energy, which we usually become aware of when we feel exceptionally energetic or low in energy. As we rush through our everyday lives, most of us probably don’t notice our own energy and that of others too much. Yet they are there. Each of us has their own energetic space which goes beyond our physical body. Let’s call it the “energetic body”.
I noticed that many of us do not seem to care whether someone else walks into our “energetic body”. It is rather perceived as something friendly, as an act of love even. We want to let our family and friends come really close.
There’s nothing wrong with that. Yet, what is the result? What happens when we intermingle energetically?
Let us assume for a moment that our energetic body is very flexible and it can expand and retract. Imagine it as a bubble around your physical body that you can make bigger and smaller to suit the circumstances. You can even make it very tight around your skin if you like. Even then, it remains your own energetic space. It is a space for you only, and no-one (!) but you has any business in there.
When we let someone walk into our energetic space it means we do not adjust our energetic body and we allow the mixing of energies. We allow people to walk into our “bodies” and feast on our energy. We are likely to feel drained afterwards.
Essentially, it means we give away our sense of self, our power, our boundaries. We are bound to loose contact with ourself and our needs. We are bound to forget how to love ourself. That’s a high price to pay.
Why would we do it then? I believe because that’s what we learned, we confuse it with “love”. To guard our own space may seem threatening, dangerous, disconnecting.
Here’s a different perspective: What if we could only get into real intimacy with ourself and also others when we do not intermingle energetically? What if we could only connect with each other from the place of having our own space, our energy clearly to ourself? What if that was when we could really meet each other in that curious space of who the other person truly is, in this very moment? What if only then love could unfold?
I dare you to do an experiment: For the coming week, be aware of your energetic body and practice keeping it sacred to yourself. Say “stop” or “no” to others walking into it, and practice staying in contact with them nevertheless. See what possibilities unfold. Enjoy!
This article is inspired by my learnings and experiments in the context of Possibility Management. If the topics of intimacy and differentiation interest you I also suggest you read the book “Passionate Marriage” by David Schnarch.
Photo by Sebastian Pichler on Unsplash.