What Do The 5 Elements of Intimacy Really Mean?

September 12, 2013

It’s one thing to nod your head when Gary Douglas and Dr Dain Heer talk about the 5 elements of intimacy. It’s quite another to live them.

As a reminder, they are honor, trust, allowance, vulnerability, and gratitude.

As I travel the world sharing the Access Consciousness® tools with people relative to relationships, I have so often encountered people who say they would like to have a relationship, yet there is at least one of the 5 elements that is missing in the relationships they attempt to create.

Perhaps it might be helpful to give some examples of how what we say and what we do are not quite the same.

Trust. As Gary and Dain present it, trust means knowing the person is going to do what they’re going to do as long as they’re going to do it. It’s looking at who a person is, not who you wish/hope/pray/pretend they’re going to be.

As Gary puts it, trust is not “believing everything is going to turn out all right just because you want it to.”

That’s blind faith. The example of blind faith I like to use in my classes is of the naïve person who says, “Oh, I know he drinks a bit, but I know that he loves me and once we’re married he’ll stop.” No. He’ll drink until he chooses to quit, period. (The example is not sex-specific; the sexes could be opposite.)

An extension of blind faith is the couple that consulted me. He was a reformed alcoholic. She liked to drink. Her drinking was a problem for him, but not for her. He wanted me to get her to stop drinking. I had to be the bearer of bad news and let him know that was not a viable option.

Her stopping drinking was only choice C, and in this case, he only had choices A and B available. Choice A was he could live with her drinking as it was. Choice B was to leave. Getting her to change her behavior to satisfy what he thought was right was choice C, which was not available. Of course this analogy ONLY applies to drinking. (NOT!)

How often do you tell yourself everything’s going to be okay (meaning, turn out like you would like it to) when action or something uncomfortable is required of you? I had a conversation with another facilitator, letting her know how the foreign currency exchange rate had affected me adversely, hoping to enable her to prevent making the same mistake.

“Maybe it will turn around in our favor before I go,” was her reply. Rather than doing something that required action and possible confrontation of something uncomfortable, she went to “everything’s going to turn out okay because that’s how I want it to turn out.”

I said to myself, “Wow, that’s an example of what Gary talks about, how we think things will turn out like we want them to, just because we want them to.”

This example was not an example pertaining to romantic relationships per se. It could be described as a relationship with herself, or her business, or her financial flow. Do you suppose the elements of intimacy might apply to areas outside of sexual relationships as well?

Honor. Gary describes honor as treating the other person with respect, not dissing them. This is something that people so often nod their heads to, but it is so often not applied in practice.

Honor has to be based on who the person is, not who you wish they would be. One woman I worked with said, “I fell in love with their potential but they could never see it.” Exactly. If you are insisting, hoping, praying, or otherwise pressuring anyone to be other than who and what they are right now, are you honoring them? Hint: this applies even if you KNOW that being more is totally in their best interest.

Consider the relationship between honor and kindness. Is it ever honoring to someone not to be kind to them? Yet how often are people kind to each other?

An organizer recently told me a story of someone she worked with who had said to her, “Get out of my hotel room, I don’t want to see your face until class starts!” Why would you ever speak to anyone that way? Would it or could it ever create anything worth having in your future relationships with that person?

How can you know if you’re being kind or not? I always try to look at whether my comment will leave a person feeling better about themselves, or not. One question you can ask yourself, preferably before you speak, is “Is this comment going to create more space and expansion in this relationship, or less?” If it’s going to create contraction, then why are you saying it? There may be times when a comment that would not create expansion may be necessary to create something greater; I personally can’t think of any right now. What do you know?

Gratitude. Gratitude is what Gary and Dain recommend instead of love.

Whereas love so very often leads to judgment, gratitude and judgment cannot co-exist. If there’s judgment in your point of view about your partner, gratitude cannot exist.

One of the reasons that love leads to so much judgment is that it has so many definitions. If you’re speaking from one definition and your “beloved” is speaking from another, it’s easy to judge them wrong if they don’t “get” your definition.

The classic example of different definitions of love leading to conflict, confusion, and misunderstandings in relationship is the one you heard about in junior high school. “Boys want sex, girls use sex to get love.” Is it any different in adulthood? When the man says, “I love you,” he means he wants sex. When the woman says, “I love you,” she means she’s offering sex to get the relationship she wants.

In my experience, women, in particular, seem to have the point of view that they know better than most men how men should be. It’s that point of view that makes it possible for them to think they can train a man, as in Gary’s often cited example of women trying to train a man to leave the toilet seat down. That example seems laughably trivial to me.

But how often do people look at their partners and say, “I love them, if only he/she would just change x, y, or z”? This pertains to far more than the toilet seat. Women, if you know in your heart of hearts that your man would be far better if only he would ……..” you’re not having gratitude for who he is right now. (Like the drinking example, this is not sex specific. I’m just using examples based on those I’ve spoken to.)

Quick: what do you want your partner to change? If you had an answer to that, are you being in gratitude?

Allowance. Allowance, of course, means, “everything is just an interesting point of view.” Nothing can be right, wrong, good, bad, positive, or negative without our judging it to be so. Judgment kills allowance, just as it kills gratitude.

There are several parts to allowance. Allowance is receiving who your partner is without judgment—but it also includes an awareness of who they are, whether they are willing to see that or not. It does not mean you have to tell them what you see!

If you have ever found yourself saying, “How could they do this to me?” you have not been in allowance. That is “interesting point of view” said with gritted teeth. That is not allowance.

If everything your partner said or did were just an interesting point of view, would it be possible for them to do anything to you? What if everything they did or said was just an expression of the uniqueness that they are? Wasn’t that what you picked them for in the first place? Have you forgotten?

Vulnerability. Vulnerability is like being the open wound that hasn’t scabbed over. The slightest breeze over it is excruciating and intense. From this reality’s point of view, vulnerability is seen as a weakness. How many of us have bought that point of view and used it in our relationships? Has it worked?

Vulnerability is actually a great potency, as only when we’re vulnerable can we receive and only when we’re willing to be vulnerable can we be truly aware.

Was someone who is surprised when their partner “cheats” on them actually vulnerable prior to that?

Vulnerability is not sharing your feelings and expecting a man to listen to all of that, girls! It can involve tears, but tears of vulnerability and tears of emotion are not the same. Vulnerability means allowing your partner to see all of you without barriers.

Allowing yourself to be seen is different than telling a man how you feel. As Gary mentioned in the recent 4-day class on sex and relationships in Houston, when a woman shares how she feels about something, the unspoken subtext is that the man is wrong!

Vulnerability is that knife’s edge of being willing to allow your partner to see everything, without any demand that he or she do anything about it. If anywhere in your universe there is the implication that your partner must do something about how you feel, that is emotional blackmail, not vulnerability.

Vulnerability also does not imply that you must tell your partner everything. If saying what’s going on for you is not kind to your partner, if it does not contribute to making the relationship greater, why say it?

There is a huge difference between not being willing to allow a part of yourself to be seen, and not having to show it when it would diminish your partner and your relationship. This is quite different than what many relationship “experts” tout as total honesty in relationships. It’s this difference that Gary’s friend Mary was describing when she said, “You young people think you should tell your partner everything. That’s like dragging their dirty underwear over their face and expecting them to love you anyway!”

How do you know the difference? You could ask yourself, “What is sharing this information going to create for the relationship?” Or, “Am I sharing this/not sharing this to be vulnerable/avoid being vulnerable/or (worst) just to hurt or get even with my partner?”

What if in your heart of hearts you actually already knew what was required to create a relationship that really worked? Would you be willing to do it? Like consciousness, it’s not always comfortable. And as Dain says, “It never turns out like you think it’s going to!”

What if creating a relationship that the last statement applied to could be the adventure of your life? Would Gary and Dain’s telecall Elements of Intimacy be a great first step to getting there?



Post a comment

author avatar

Shweta Chadha

Oct 1, 2013

Wonderful stuff, this!!! 🙂 thank you for sharing!!

Post a comment