There are no guarantees in life, nothing is certain. Even in the next moment your very life could be taken away. The people that you love may be here with you now, but that doesn't mean that they will be for even one more second.
Today could be your very last day on Earth. The sunset you just witnessed this evening could be the last time you ever see the sun. When your spouse leaves for work in the morning, it's not an absolute certainty that he will come home.
This is what is amazing about life. The temporariness of life, the fragile nature of our existence is so beautiful because of it's fleeting nature. If we could be absolutely secure in our relationships, if we knew without a doubt that the other person would be there always, no matter what, there would be no reason to appreciate them. Our relationships would lose feeling and depth because we'd know there would always be tomorrow and in this certainty we'd lose the urgency to appreciate our experience with the other in the here and now. If we were guaranteed to live forever, life itself would lose all meaning. What would be the point in living today if we knew there was no end?
Absolute certainty of anything is impossible. Seeking security is futile, nothing is secure and in longing for something certain we lose the only thing that is certain: this moment. Why would we want this security? The only way to be completely secure is to be stuck; trapped; stagnant. You are semi-secure when you are alone in a room. The moment you step outside, the moment you interact with another and allow yourself to care about them, anything can happen. Beautiful, wonderful things can happen, but loss and death are also possibilities. Without the threat of loss nothing is treasured.
The instability of life is magical. You never know what will happen next; what awaits you just around the corner. You never know how the people in your life will "show up" or even if they will. Love can only happen in this moment. You have loved in the past, but that is gone forever. Who knows if it ever really happened in the first place. You can't love someone in the future. The future is just a figment of your imagination. It will never arrive, except as the present moment.
To truly understand and accept this is to be open, here and now, in this very moment to love completely every moment of your life. This is the great surrender that frees us to love entirely. When you know that any moment could be your last moment with someone, you free yourself to allow others into the core of your being without fear. Your defenses are dissolved because you realize that there is nothing to defend. We are all temporary expressions of a soul of all that is. We are all connected, our essence is all the same, not only made of the same thing, but it is the same thing. We all have the same fears, the same hopes and desires. We all love and are all growing in our own way.
Intimacy can only happen when you allow yourself to be open to another. When you are fully present with someone, appreciating them as they are without labels or roles, just being open to them as an ever changing being you can truly experience their deep, true self and they can experience yours. This can only be done when you are open, you can only be open when you are present and accepting of what is and you can only be open and accepting of what is when you know that all experience is temporary, ever changing and connected.
The moment you try to capture another, possess them or make them fit the vision of who you think they should be for you according to the role or label you've assigned to them, in that moment you destroy intimacy. Intimacy is a flow of love. It is an open acceptance of another without attachments and without an agenda. It is a deep listening of what is and then letting go of that in the next moment to allow that person to be as they are in that new moment. It is seeking to understand, truly without the wanting the other to say a certain thing, behave a certain way. This freedom is the safety net that allows a depth of connection because there is only good that comes with the closeness. There is only love, acceptance, approval, encouragement and understanding.
If another enjoys being with you and feels safe, they open up so you can know them and the closeness grows. Then the time that you spend is valuable to the both of you. Although you still can't guarantee that person will be there in the next moment, the moments you have created with them are gifts instead of bad memories. If another feels pressured to be a certain way when they are with you, when they feel that you love, approve and accept only the part of them that you want them to be, being with you is painful, even if they aren't consciously aware of it. They will close off, look for small ways to avoid being with you (like watching TV or "tuning out"). They will defend against you. How can they be expected not to?
However, this doesn't mean that you have to close off when another is behaving in a way that causes you to feel as if you can't be yourself or that you have to close off. You choose how you respond, and you can choose to open and loving instead. You can choose to be true to yourself regardless of what others are expecting of you and be loving at the same time. Anything is possible. People have climbed the highest mountains in the world, overcome insurmountable obstacles. You can choose to be present and defenseless with others.
Intimacy then is a simple formula:
* Be with the other fully in the present moment.
* Allow them to be as they are with your loving approval, free of your imposed agenda or expectations of how they "should" be.
* Accept that all of life is temporary and this moment is the only thing that you are guaranteed. Appreciate the time you have with another as if it is the last time you will ever see them.
* Look at them in their eyes and seek to connect with the truth of who they are, not who you want them to be. Know that this is ever changing.
* Seek to understand, to listen, to encourage, uplift and bring them well being in this moment, not in some future time.
* Live in the flow. When the other is with you, enjoy that time with them, when they are not, enjoy that time as well. Allow love to be formless, not in the form of a particular human being or condition.
In short: Love the person that you are with right now as if you will never see them again. They are the most important person in your life because they are your life if they are with you now. What you are doing is the most important thing you could possibly be doing because you are doing it right now and right now is your life. Do all that you do, right now with all that you love possess in your heart and soul. Love and live as if this is your last day on Earth and nothing is guaranteed.