Key Points from Book: Intimacy and Solitude

Hope sleeps in our bones like a bear waiting for spring to rise and walk-Marge Piercy

We may find ourselves angry or helpless when other people disappoint us

We can generally manage ti be pleasant with people we barely know

When we aboid knowing how we feel, or when we deny the legitimacy of our own feelings by ignoring or belittling them, we cannot learn to empathise with other people

Self knowledge is gained through experience and reflection. It requires us to think a little less about what we ourselves wanting from others and rather more about waht we ourselves are doing or being

I have a body, but I am not my body
I have feelings, but I am not my feelings
I have desires, but I am not my desires
I have mind, but I am not my mind

The experience of self brings a feeling of standing on solid ground inside pneself, on a patch of eternity, which even physical death cannot touch

It is not possible to know other people better than you know your own self

Some people do adapt to these requests for conformity, but when there is a strong sense of who I am within a child or young person, and this does not confrom to the family ideals, the struggle for a coherent reality can be awesome

The price for being one’s own self is often the loss oflove and approval, which is too high a price for most people to pay

At just the time we need to treat ourselves with patience and compassion we strike the most painful of blows agains ourselves, from within

Bringing to mind how connected you are, and that you are also seperate people woth some, seperate needs, allows you to negotiate difficulties with less blame and far less tension

The more possible it is to predict consistently what a human being will do. The less of a real person he has become-Harry Guntrip

When you feel real to yourself, whether you are alone or with others, and when others seem real to you even in their differences from you, you can count yourself fortunate or blessed

The main thing is that the man or woman feels that he or she is living his or her own life

This is my life. I am affected by other people. I am certainly affected by circumstances. But ultimately its value and meaning will be created by me, and no one else

The capacity to be comfortably alone flows from satisfying experiences of being with someone else. What’s more, satisfying experiences of being with someone else fuel a continuing capacity to be alone, without feeling adrift or lonely

Her belief is that the man, or their relationship, has given her an identity

From the safety of self knowledge, trust, and acceptance, you are well placed to know that you are your own safe place which you never entirely leave; to know that you are your own safe place to which you can consciously and willingly return

I belonged first and foremost to myself

Without self love, without self acceptance, there can be little or no capacity to love others and to feel worthy of being loved in return

The idea that conflict is a constant part of human life is painful for most of us to accept

The most satisfying intimate partnerships do seem to be between people who have a clear sense of individual self and who, in their connections with others, are able to differentiate between self and other; past and present; inner and outer; thought and feeling

Narcissisrs may well have come out of families in which they did not get enough attention, or attention in the way they needed it

Narcissism os not too much self but, rather, not enough of self, and certainly not enough authentic and spontaneouslu expressed feeling

No one can save us, we can only save ourselves

It is a considerable challenge to disemtangle empathy and sameness, and to learn that it is possible to share an understanding of feelings without having to share the feelings themselves

Human beings generally need to feel thoroughly accepted before they can tolerate confrontation

The less we know and have come to accept ourselves, the more harshly we will judge other people, and the more adamantly we will believe we have a right to judge other people

Connection with others leads to greater knowledge of who you are

Your gender knowledge is an essential aspect of knowing who you are, even while it has the potential to be entrapping

Heterosexuals often fall into the trap of expecting all their emotional needs to be met by the other person

Learning the meaning of your gender at a specific point in history and in particular kinds of societies plays a crucial part in learning to know who you are

Your open mindedness means that you are not threatened when I hold an opinion different from yours, because you are not me and I am not you, and also because you can distinguish between your opinions and your sense of self

Intimacy is not possible until you can, from an aliveness within yourself, express who i am freely, and can be with other person as they express who I am without feeling the need tos hut them out or off to protect yourself

Men may feel more stress, but express less anxiety

You work on the good by noticing the good, not the bad

Until we recognize what we are longing for, or just expecting, we may not be ready also to examine what we are prepared to give

Solitude is a state in which, it is possible to be calm, restfuk, relaxed, and feeling one with people and things when no excitement is around

Why would loneliness be a worse option than going home with and perhaps to bed with stranger?

In solitude you are aware of being alove and having needs, and of being able to meet some of those needs without turning to others. In solitude you do not feel empty. In solitude you do not fear death by emotional starvation

Death is the ultimate loss experience and the absolute rebuff to our childish beliefs that someone out there will save us

Attachment was dangerous, passionate attachment more dangerous still

It is not difficult to imagine that human beings have always wanted to love and to be loved; to feel close and welcomed; fo feel valued themselves and proud of those they can also value

It is not possible to be intimate without also relinquishing the desire to control or to be controlled

In intimacy you risk being who you are, and risk facing who the other person is in their entirety, not just in those parts which are socially acceptable or useful you

Feeling: I can’t stand the emotions this person stirs up in me

What you cannot control, what you cannot predict, can seem unemdurably threatening

A relationship doesn’t work until you accept that it may break up tomorrow, and if it does you’ll be alright

Breakdown of intimacy:
Battle for control
A limited reading of who the other person is, based on your idea of who they ought to be

Once you each become sure that you can handle life’s basic stresses on your own, helping has a different meaning

Desire turns sour when people start undermining each other

The more comfortable you are with yourself, the less you need other people and the more easily you can embrace them, not just one special person as an extension of your own self absorption, but many people, in many ways, experiencing their likeness to you and their differences from you as part of your intimacy with them, and as part of your knowledge of your own self

About Journeyman

A global macro analyst with over four years experience in the financial market, the author began his career as an equity analyst before transitioning to macro research focusing on Emerging Markets at a well-known independent research firm. He read voraciously, spending most of his free time following The Economist magazine and reading topics on finance and self-improvement. When off duty, he works part-time for Getty Images, taking pictures from all over the globe. To date, he has over 1200 pictures over 35 countries being sold through the company.
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