PRIVACY is not something we are merely entitled to; it is a prerequisite for intimacy and our emotional growth.
This important word often gets used against people as if it is a dysfunctional request, to ask for a little PRIVACY.
Those who usually complain about another’s request for PRIVACY may have concerns around trust and secrecy issues.
Secrecy and PRIVACY are two very different requests. A secret is usually accompanied by fear and/or shame. Fear that if someone found out, something of value would be sacrificed as a consequence. So secrecy is fuelled by a state of fear.
PRIVACY on the other hand is a healthy request in order to preserve a relationship with ourselves or a significant other. A “do not disturb” sign requesting PRIVACY lets all know that what is going on behind that door is important to the people behind the door.
Healthy personal boundaries are essential for intimacy. Intimacy requires sacred time with ourselves recharging our batteries, and sacred time with those we love. For another to deliberately close the door, put down the phone, computer or turn off the television and pull down the blind on the rest of the world to gift us with their undivided attention is truly delicious. We feel special. More important than anyone else or anything else. It is called quality time. PRIVACY is the foundation of quality time for us as individuals, lovers, parents and trusted friends.
When I hear the statement that those who seek PRIVACY have something to hide I disagree wholeheartedly. The word “secret” is being confused with PRIVACY in this instance. Those who seek PRIVACY put value on sacred, intimate times in life. Some of us, however, do require more PRIVACY than others. So in intimate relationships we need to be upfront about our PRIVACY rituals. We can claim our right to PRIVACY with emotional transparency. Secrets are all about withholding emotional transparency, whereas PRIVACY includes it.
I will give you an example. I mentioned earlier some of us relish more PRIVATE time than others. There is usually good reason. They see it as a delightful luxury because they were perhaps malnourished of it in childhood. When children grow up not allowed to keep a personal diary in fear of it being read, or not allowed a closed bedroom door because they need time out from the family, when friends are over, or allowed access to their secret cubbyhouse they are deprived of their innate desire for PRIVACY.
Some of us who had not just our geographical PRIVACY held hostage, but our physical PRIVACY violated, often grow into adults that struggle with personal boundaries.
I have supported sex workers and nuns who have been sexually violated like I was. Many of them struggle with when and how to say no and when and how to say yes in relation to access to their physical body and how much personal PRIVACY they need to claim.
When I first met my husband Mr Delicious I needed to be emotionally transparent about my non-negotiable needs for PRIVACY. So I was upfront from the get-go. There were certain sexual boundaries he would never be able to cross with me (most healthy males wouldn’t need to anyway), but I needed to feel safe and sound him out before we were intimate. He did not blink an eyelid; my boundaries were non-issues for him. I then needed to explain to him that I meditate and write in PRIVACY every single day of my life and he would need to be OK with that if we were going to build a life together. Many years later my need for PRIVACY coupled with emotional transparency as I write is still a non-issue.
PRIVACY can only be preserved with emotional transparency and trust. For with PRIVACY we do not hide who we are, we preserve who we are. It is only with secrecy that we hide our truth.
The most beautiful intimate times we spend with our own passions (writing, cooking, gardening, meditating, running, etc.) ensure we preserve our self-respect. The sacred PRIVATE times we spend with loved ones preserve intimacy and the beauty of feeling special and valued above everyone and everything else in that moment.
So as we digest this beautiful word PRIVACY together let’s remember to untangle cherished PRIVACY from the toxic vine of secrecy. When we preserve rather than hide in our heart’s garden love, peace and intimacy bloom.
Lotsa love Cynthia xxx
© Copyright 2016 Cynthia J. Morton Emotional Fitness™
This Word Vitamin is an excerpt from my latest bookset “The Four Seasons of the Heart”. If you would like to order your own full set of Daily Word Vitamins one for each day of the year, in book form for yourself or as a gift just click on the SHOP tab and place your order.