Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Essential touch.

What happens if you don’t get touched?

You die! That’s what you do! Maybe not physically exactly, but definitely emotionally and spiritually – possibly even mentally!

Oh sure! Some people don’t like being touched much. Nevertheless, you will still need to feel an occasional loving physical gesture that reminds you, you're alive.

Skin is the largest organ of our body. It is designed to be incredibly sensitive to touch and physical sensation. The touch that occurs between people can be either repulsive or extraordinarily beautiful. It depends on context of course.

The context I’m talking about here is the latter. I’m talking about the extraordinarily beautiful entente found in loving physical touch.

Loving touch is as necessary to us as the air we breathe. Demonstrating affection for a loved one says that they are deeply cared for and valued. The tender, gentle touch from someone who loves us elevates us and brings us closer to becoming who we were created to be. When we are touched often, respectfully, lovingly and appropriately, we find ourselves more content and happy. We are actually even healthier, emotionally, spiritually, physically and possibly even saner! :)

A hug, a simple hand on a shoulder, a kiss, a pat, a brush of skin against skin… it can all mean something beautiful if we allow it to. These things can say more than any words can.

But there must be no manipulation, no selfish reasons here.

We must not touch another in order to meet our own agenda for love. Sensitivity to anothers needs means that we are willing to understand how much touch our loved one is capable of being able to bear at any given moment. Sometimes, it’s better for a simple, brief gesture of touch that is merely a reminder that you’re still there for them. Love seeks to understand first and give accordingly – it never rushes the issue.

Loving touch is not about mere sex either. It is all about the giving over of ones self to another person freely and intentionally. It's about wanting to connect and commune with someone and belong to them just because they're so amazing and beautiful to you. This isn't selfish -'s not meant to be; real love inspires touch and physical intimacy but it never demands or forces it.

Still! There are times too, when someone you love just needs to be hugged close (and perhaps kissed too), just because they are so loved. Perhaps they might rebel against this surprising display of affection but at least they’ll know how you feel about them.

So, if this happens to you - someone, who loves you, and knows you, grabs you and holds you close to their heart and their skin without violent or manipulative intent; holding you close just because of who you are - then knowing you are loved like this can be a pathway to healing and happiness.

I encourage you to explore it.

You can run from love
And if it's really love it will find you
And catch you by the heel
But you can't be numb to love
The only pain is to feel nothing at all
How can I hurt when I'm holding you

*Lyric by U2 from "A Man and A Woman"


Sarah said...

Hi Mitch!!
This post reminded me of a study I heard about done in the 50s or 60s I think? Apparently, scientists wanted to find out about the effects of being touched or not, so had a control group of babies, a group who was not touched at all from the day of their birth (except for feedings, nappy changes etc. - I guess no loving touches). All the babies that had no touching died.

Michelle said...

Hello Sarah!

I've heard of that particular study and would dearly love to know of the facts surrounding it.

Thanks for sharing it.

(long time no see btw! welcome back to the net! hahah ;)).