For accessibility and ease, you can listen to this post narrated by Mike:
As visionaries, we’re constantly rumbling with intimacy. We’re constantly asked to trust something we can’t quite see.
In a world where we can control everything from the temperature of our homes to the image we put out to the world on social media, intimacy can often feel especially intimidating.
Because it is intimidating, right? We can’t control it. We can’t just force inspiration to come through for that blog post. We can’t command people to buy our art. We can’t demand to feel purposeful in every moment.
In many ways, it’s a dance. Just like every relationship. And the intimacy is the vulnerability. It’s the not being able to know with absolute certainty that we won’t be hurt or let down. In fact, it’s actively risking being hurt and let down.
And why would we do that? Why would any human risk pain in their lives?
There’s only one answer: love.
I can’t say with absolute certainty that Garrett will never hurt me. Or leave me. Or any other number of things. But I risk that every day. I trust and have faith and open up to that deepened intimacy every day. Because I love him. And that love is strong enough to make me gamble the risk any day.
And I’ll be honest—my business is not the most secure path. Sometimes less people sign up for things than we expected. Sometimes the work doesn’t come through the way we were expecting. Sometimes we’re really struggling to teach certain topics or hold space for certain conversations.
So why the hell am I doing this? Why would I ever risk it all? Why wouldn’t I have stayed in my well-paid, very secure career path of PR?
Love. I’m too in love with the work not to risk it.
I’d rather risk everything and feel that level of love than to stay secure out of fear and control.
And that’s what intimacy is, after all.
We have this myth out there—we see it in all the self-help books and all of the Instagram quotes. This idea that things will work out if we just trust. That, if we take the risk, we’ll get exactly what we wanted or expected.
And it’s bullshit. That’s not what a risk means. It doesn’t mean you’ll automatically succeed if you can be brave. It means that you know that there’s a chance of failure—maybe even a good chance—and you’re doing it anyway. Because you love it.
And, even if you do fail, you’re the person who chooses love. Maybe the outside didn’t change the way you wanted it to. But the inside did. You became a person who fought for love. And that fundamentally changes the way you interact with the world.
Being a visionary is tough because we’re constantly grappling with that intimacy. We’re constantly seeing little aspects of a vision that’s never existed before. And being asked to trust in something we can’t see. And trust in parts of ourselves that we can’t see either.
It’s why we fall in love so easily. With everything. With people, with ideas, with visions and dreams and possibilities. Because we couldn’t possibly keep moving forward without that love.
It’s pure co-creation. That’s what intimacy always is. Co-creation implies that you have two (or more) fully alive, capable, subjective entities creating together. Of course we have to trust. Of course we can’t control.
Because we can’t control people. I can control objects—like my remote control. But something alive has its own agency. And that means we have to surrender the illusion of control and trust.
That’s what intimacy is. Knowing that we can’t guarantee results. Knowing that things are going to shock and surprise us. That everything and everyone is moving and changing and growing. Because it’s all alive.
The only thing that’s static in life is that which is dead.
And our visions are alive. They’re living, breathing entities that are co-creating with us. Of course we can’t control them. Of course they might grow and change. And keep us on our toes. And ask a lot more from us than we expected. And give us things we never imagined.
As an artist, as a visionary, we’re not talking about a thing you create and control. We’re talking about a relationship, something you co-create with.
We’re talking about the music being alive and moving with you. Or the painting dancing in your mind and telling your hand how to move. Or the words coming together like poetry.
Relationships imply every layer of intimacy. Fear, courage, trust, faith, reliance, surrender, and support.
I spent a lot of time in my life feeling victimized by my visions. Like this idea would come through, and it’d feel so big and so scary and ask so much of me, and I just couldn’t do it. It wanted to take and take and take without giving much back in return.
I’d yell at my business for not making more money when I was working my ass off. I felt like I was an employee of my own work.
That’s not intimacy; that’s an abusive relationship.
If our visions are alive and have agency, then so do we. We can set our boundaries. Ask for what we need. Be supported by our visions. Put it down for a few years while we’re saving up money. Get a part-time job. Modify it. Make it work for our lifestyle.
It’s a relationship. And, like any good relationship, it asks us to show up fully for it. To notice where we’re giving our power away. Or where we’re objectifying the other.
To ask for what we need. To ask for support. To trust. To move forward even when we’re scared. To be intimate. And, most of all, to love.
We’ll never be able to control anything that’s alive—including our visions. So we have to rumble with intimacy.
To ask our vision to show up for us. To ask our patrons to show up for us. To ask our partners to show up for us. To ask ourselves to show up for us.
The greatest resistance to a vision is always the fear of intimacy. The fear of losing control. Of blindly trusting. Of choosing love over everything else.
But that’s what it means to be a visionary.
Questions for Reflection:
*Answer in a journal, in the comments right here, or take it over to the Sacred Branding® Facebook group where we can support one another:
Are you struggling to trust your vision?
— Do you feel a calling or idea, but you’re struggling to trust that it will work out? Maybe you’re launching a new program or creating a big piece or art or even starting a new relationship. Does it feel scary and vulnerable? Do you worry you might be hurt or disappointed?
— Do you feel like your vision, clients, patrons, or other people might not show up for you the way you need them to? Do you have a lot of fear when you can’t control what will happen here? Do you sometimes wish you could choose the safer, more secure route?
— What if you’re rumbling with intimacy? What if being a visionary means opening up to the fully alive vision and having to have a relationship with it—one where you can’t control everything? What if your real resistance is this fear of intimacy? What if choosing love and committing to that love every day is how you can deepen into that intimacy and share your vision with the world?