The Most Intimate Relationship You Will Ever Have


What would you consider to be your most intimate relationship in life? Most of us have an answer ready to blurt out quickly, but it’s not as easy as it seems at first. When I started exploring this question with friends, most mentioned their relationship with their mother. I understood the choice immediately—she was the one who carried them in her womb, fed them with the resources of her body, wiped their bottoms, and bathed them. We all depended on our mothers for survival.

What about a wife or husband, since we choose to go through life with this one very special person? We have decided to make an emotional investment in a total stranger who becomes our closest companion for life. The marital relationship is based on commitment and trust, no matter what happens. That person will know the territory of our body like no other, see us elevated and also brought low by emotions—sometimes almost on the verge of madness—and they will still love us. We will be vulnerable and dependent on them when ill (“in sickness and in health, ‘til death do us part”), but we’ll also be there to share in and celebrate their great successes.

Many of us consider having a long-term friend an intimate relationship. Someone close to us who knows us “the best.” This is usually someone we grew up with, who was with us through good times as well as bad times and witnessed all the ups and downs. Someone we’ve told our secrets to, confiding in them and revealing our deepest or most ridiculous ideas and dreams. Things we wouldn’t tell our parents or spouses. We’ve shared good laughs with them as well as serious cries.

Therapists become an intimate figure for many people, since they help us understand ourselves better and how we get stuck emotionally in patterns from the past. If we experience trauma, we open ourselves to them to help us heal. We use them as professionals who will never judge or betray our trust when we reveal our most uncomfortable truths. A few carefully chosen words from them can keep us rational and sane.

Throughout our lives we’ll experience many relationships, but the most intimate of all is with our own body. Why did no one mention this, when it’s literally the closest relationship we’ll ever have? I see how many people abandon their body to have a primary relationship with someone else, molding their form into something that’s pleasing and accepted by others. This is unsustainable. If you cannot have a good relationship with your own body you cannot have a good relationship with anyone. What kind of relationship do you have?

Would your body say that you’re a good steward?

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  • Dear Aniela, thank you for this reminder and the wonderful photos of you both! The moment I started to have a relationship with my body instead of giving it orders, life has become so much easier. My body carries me where my mind wants to be, with less effort and stress. It began about a year ago when I absorbed your book and learned the exercises. Stefan and I do them together every day (I do them twice a day) without fail. A week ago I achieved the leanness standard. I can feel that my body thanks me for dropping all the unnecessary fat I’ve been carrying for decades. Flexibility will be the next standard, right? Hugs from Munich!

  • Mariya, I’m so glad you’ve already mastered two of six standards of The Happy Body. Congratulations! The next ones, even though a longer term goals, are easier to focus on once you are not trying to lose weight and fat. These two standards are about healthy organs. Now you truly pursuing fitness part of THB, like an athlete becoming more flexible, stronger and faster. That’s having a happy body in true sense–being healthy and fit (youthful) no mater what age. Please share with us some soup recipes that you’ve really enjoyed making. Greetings to you and Stefan.

    • Aniela, there are so many yummy soups that we’ve been enjoying since the retreat. Like you taught me, I don’t consult cookbooks anymore (took some time though). Instead, I cook intuitively, and somehow it always works out. Let me share a soup we had yesterday, because it was sooo delicious! I’ll call it parsnip-asparagus soup. It takes about 7 minutes to cook from start to finish.

      Small carrot + parsnip + small onion + a little coriander green + green asparagus + 1 teaspoon coriander powder + salt
      Cook in the pressure cooker for five minutes.
      Then add 2 tablespoons coconut milk, lemon juice to taste. Blend and reheat in a clean saucepan. Garnish with coriander green.
      Enjoy immediately, or later.

      I found the soup tasted even better after two hours.
      Stefan also enjoys goulash from a small piece of beef or lean pork. He prepares it once in a while in the pressure cooker in about 15 minutes. It tastes fantastic because he has a secret spice. It’s caraway. It adds so much flavor to goulash, making it simply irresistible. Greetings to you and Jerzy!

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