Friday, March 29, 2013

The Importance of Touch - A Conversation

“Who taught you to write in blood on my back? Who taught you to use your hands as branding irons? You have scored your name into my shoulders, referenced me with your mark. The pads of your fingers have become printing blocks, you tap a message on to my skin, tap meaning into my body. Your morse code interferes with my heart beat. I had a steady heart before I met you, I relied upon it, it had seen active service and grown strong. Now you alter its pace with your own rhythm, you play upon me, drumming me taut.”
Jeanette Winterson, Written on the Body 

I've been writing.  Oh, not for publication yet, but I've not quit writing.  I've been focusing my concentration on writing a book.

Today, I decided to share an excerpt from the book I've been writing with a small, intimate group of friends I'm involved with on Facebook.  I find the conversation I had with one of my friends, (who I used to live with), profoundly important.  His reactions, (and mine), and the comments to what I shared are honest, pure, and at the heart of what I desire to convey to all who will listen.  What follows is my excerpt, and the conversation that followed:

Excerpt from my writings today on the subject of "Touch:"

Since embarking on this road through the heart, if there is one thing I've witnessed truly lacking in this world, and in people who claim to love, it is touch. For I understand that Love desires to manifest Itself into this world, and one of the most natural ways It does that, without even a thought or reason, is through touch. How many of you automatically find yourself reaching out your hand to touch a baby, or a child, or your pet? But beyond that, we aren't touching. In fact, more often than not, what you'll receive if you even ask for a simple hug, ( I wish I was exaggerating ), is told that you are too needy, or given a distrustful glance, like what you are asking for is suspect in some way. The problem isn't in the one asking. The problem lies in the heart of the one who refuses to give. And truly, what you don't want to hear is all the reasons someone has for their refusal, because more than likely they will make their reasons about you. Somehow or another, no matter how nicely said, they will find a way to point out your unworthiness.

And don't get me started on romantic relationship. Too many associate Love with sex. Sex is sex. It can, and does, happen with or without Love. And for some, the only touch they have in their life, the only touch they will allow, is through the act of sex. Is it any wonder then, that these people will build a hunger for it, if that is the only area in their life they will allow touch?

So, I've asked myself this one question again and again: When did we humans stop touching? And why?

The answers first came to me through directing those questions toward myself. When did I stop touching, and why? Initially, I wasn't a happy camper with the answers. It felt like I was suddenly spun into a dark, tangled web that I later discovered was one of my own making. It was very much like traveling a labyrinth, or a maze to find my way clear, and where that journey eventually led me was to the center of my own heart.
  • Ben  We are social creatures that crave the touch of others. I often find that I can sense when I'm encountering someone who has issues with touch. With others, my first instinct upon meeting them is to wrap my arms around them. These people usually seem surprised by my hug; but they seem to settle right into it, and hug me too.

    Cynthia Fassett Yes, some do. I find people are seriously hungry for it, and don't even know HOW hungry until they are confronted with someone touching them. I experienced the same thing myself. If there is one thing I've witnessed in people's feeling of separation, it is in the area of Touch.

  • Cynthia Fassett Touch brings us back to earth.

  • Cynthia Fassett Back to each other, and our own humanity.

  • Cynthia Fassett Which sadly, is a place that too many don't want to go to. Know why? I finally discovered the reason is because touch has them dealing with emotion. Emotion they don't know how to deal with.
  • Cynthia Fassett So the feeling of being brought "down," like I've talked about, is that right there. "Down" is to the emotions.

  • Ben Exactly.

  • Cynthia Fassett Which truly can feel like going into "the dark."

  • Cynthia Fassett And it is.

  • Ben Yes, that inward dark. Touch really does bring us down into that place. But what's even more special about touch is that it brings us down into that dark WITH someone else there to witness it.

  • Ben And that is probably the root cause of why people avoid touch.

  • Cynthia Fassett If we could only trust!

  • Cynthia Fassett Touch is one of the most healing things in this world! And we aren't DOING it!

  • Ben It's a place of vulnerability. It's a secret chest that is seen as having the need to remain locked and hidden. The hidden garden within.

  • Cynthia Fassett Aren't willing to walk through the initial discomfort it brings...but omg, it is oh so healing.

  • Cynthia Fassett The discomfort is the red flag that we need healing.

  • Cynthia Fassett There is no shame.

  • Cynthia Fassett Why are we HIDING it?

  • Ben As a client of mine, you know my most powerful secret to a successful healing: Touch. Healing is, of course, possible without touch. But when you add touch to it, you bring a new and powerful element into it.
  • Cynthia Fassett Touch connects, and gives us no way out Ben.

  • Cynthia Fassett We can't rethink it, and say, as in a dream, oh, it was just in my mind, it was just a dream.

  • Cynthia Fassett Touch brings it down to earth, to the here/now, real.
  • Ben  The hiding is brought about through conditioning. People get hurt at the hands of others all the time. It causes people to recoil in horror. They fear that someone else will sneak into their hidden garden, and steal something from it.
  • Ben  And so, since touch is the simplest way in which we can connect with someone...since it is such a fundamental gate to empathy, we become conditioned to retract from it.

  • Cynthia Fassett Yet there is nothing to be stolen if the love is only yours to give. Only you can give it! I do understand the desire to hide, but what happens is when we do that, in essence, we are holding onto the wound that brought it about. Nursing it.

  • Cynthia Fassett Ben, LOOK! There are so many who are retracting!

  • Ben  Almost everyone I know.

  • Ben Bills Including me.

     Cynthia Fassett  Hello! Now you understand my grief.

    Cynthia Fassett It was never about me. It was about what I saw.

    (and by the way, you can find me on Facebook here)