Relational frustration is both felt and expressed by two who yearn for something closer, but cannot achieve it, despite significant effort. Both seek it and are frustrated by the lack of it. Accessing intimacy’s missing link is easier than we think.
Relationships like these didn’t always require such effort; or maybe they did.
The source of the problem is determined by a common paradoxical truth: more effort equals less success and more frustration.
Intimacy’s Engine – Love – Defined
Love, by its purest definition, requires no effort—it is blissfully discretional. It gives and does not take, unless to take would be to bless another.
It goes out of its way to deploy kindness, patience, trust, and compassion. It finds itself home in peace and hope; faith is sublimely easy for love.
All its acts are joy. It is devotion, not duty. But, it is honourably dutiful to God.
When Knowledge Means Frustration
Yet, such knowledge as love frustrates us further than ever when the practice of it is out of reach with this person or situation we desire intimacy with.
When we envisage love and want it so bad, as it lags, it frustrates. But frustration is merely the flag of Too Much Effort.
The Missing Link
Surrounded in the corpus of effort, love eludes, just like happiness eludes, the one grabbing after it—trying too hard. When we insist on having perfect operational control over love, she slips through our fingers like a slippery, spinning ball on a windy day.
Effort is our foe, when it could and should so easily be our facilitator of ease. Surrender, then, is a missing link; to find a way to the Promised Land of intimacy in the given situation.
There are practical considerations, too; we may have been perfectly willing to surrender—shown by our previous efforts—but our wheels just spun in the mud; much toil revealed no significant gain in relational ease between them and us.
Surrender, like love, is a pure thing—we surrender all or nothing. There is no grey.
But prayer is important, too—to actively ask for, think about, and meditate upon, guidance—to gain knowledge of a sensible way through.
The way to intimacy in stop-start or stifled relationships is through less effort and more prayer—to know the precise measure of surrender required in advancing trust through personal vulnerability.
Vulnerability is a gate through which another person is invited into ourselves. The hinges of such a gate are oily-smooth via trustful love. The courtyard of intimacy beckons when we obtain the surrender of less effort and more prayer. Love is never forced, only ever invited.
© 2011 S. J. Wickham.