I've been thinking a lot about intimacy lately.
Yes, of course sexual intimacy enters the realm of my desires and thoughts -- I'm a 28-year-old woman. But I mean intimacy in the way that our culture often misses. We discussed this at a January workshop for novices by Lynn Levo, a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet, about celibacy and sexuality. To someone only slightly familiar with the religious life, the theme of the workshop might seem comical. Celibate means no sex, right?
Lynn speaks of sexuality as the human energy for connectivity and generativity. Sexuality is, in a sense, the human search for wholeness, and it finds expression through intimacy. Genital sex is one expression of that innate desire for giving and receiving love and life, but of course, it is just a small part of sexuality in general. As a celibate woman, my desire for deep connection and life-giving creativity does not turn off. I must pay attention to and nurture this sexuality. To be a healthy person, I must have intimacy in my life.
I am exploring what this means for me right now, a millennial and a young adult sister.