the power of touch

The Power of Touch: How I Built Intimacy

I want to throw my phone across the room as the level of annoyance starts building up. Yet again, I have failed at capturing any footage of my latest trip. So many things happened from good to bad and everything in-between that I thought it would make a great YouTube video. But atlas, that was not meant to be. But I can’t stay mad forever because

My heart is very full…

What was meant to be a simple work trip turned into something I wasn’t expecting. And it’s impact on my future days grow with more awareness at every waking moment. Who knew a simple touch could hold so much power.

BACKSTORY

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You see, growing up, I was not exposed to the security of open arms. My Mother’s approach was one of necessity and determination. Providing for what she loved through any means possible. Sometimes that brought us together and sometimes the divide was so great, it left us both on opposite islands.

As I have matured, the longing for connection through touch has followed a similar route: overshadowed by duty and work causing me to express that “I don’t like to be touched” when someone pulls me into an embrace. To be touched, in my mind, is to be vulnerable. And to be vulnerable is a sin not worth committing. At least, I thought it was.

There are a few expectations to the rule however. Those I deem “safe” are allowed to touch me. To become “safe” one has to be in my life for a certain of amount, seen me in certain situations, or possess of a certain aura of “no judgement” that I unconsciously give into.

It’s like when someone calls me “Chrissy” without permission. You will get slapped unless you know the code word.

So, it was no surprise that I felt truly weirded out (which is hard for someone who calls themselves Weirdling) when touch was the main focus of my trip.

HOW I EXPERIENCED PERSONAL TOUCH

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Now I want you to get your mind out of the gutter. Not all touch means sexually. And no, your girl did not get dicked down (I will explain this in a future blog post). But I did experience intimacy in it’s most pure way: through personal touch.

Personal touch, as I am defining it, is a way in which people can share a quick connection and understanding. For me during this trip, it happened multiple ways:

  • Extended hand holding to check if I’m okay

  • Standing close to or shoulder to shoulder with me

  • Arm rested on the shoulder

  • Warm hugs goodnight

And your girl experienced ALL OF THEM without getting freaked out. For anyone who knows me, that is a major progress!!

So, you’re probably saying to yourself…

Oh this is great! But why is this important?

Do you remember when I said touching makes me feels vulnerable? Well because I allowed people to touch me during this trip, I was actively allowing myself to be vulnerable in those moments. And being vulnerable, it appears, has opened a doorway within. Stay with me here…

Coming from a girl who fears vulnerability to willing provide an opportunity for someone to hurt me is a major step. And the catalyst to it all was touch. I have never felt closer and more understood than I feel in this moment. And I feel so grateful to the people who shared that experience with me over the past week.

I can honestly say waking up each morning now feels a little lighter. Carrying around the weight of hiding yourself from the world is so exhausting. Everyday, I would prepare myself to be cold toward people’s advances because I didn’t want to be hurt. Not allowing my friends to help me in fear of them using it against me. And not being able to express my love for someone because the idea of them leaving breaks me in two.

Through these days of touch, I was finally able to understand the joy in the fall. And even though some situations hurt a little more than others, the experience of giving myself to someone meant more than closing my heart completely. And I am willing to do it again!

HOW YOU TOO CAN EXPERIENCE PERSONAL TOUCH

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If you are someone like me, I know the idea of someone touching you is a big risk. But if you also struggle with establishing intimacy with others, I am starting to believe that touch can help with that. Below is a quick exercise in personal touch:

Call over one of your closest friend to your house (I wouldn’t suggest to do this in public because you are opening yourself up. You need to feel comfortable in your surroundings). It can start off slow by greeting them with a hug at the door. Throughout the conversation, allow yourself to touch them in meaningful ways like creating emphasis about a point, showing concern, or like laughing it out with a touch on the shoulder. If you’re cooking together, get close to them and share duties together. When the time comes for them to leave, give them another hug.

Simple. To the point. But meaningful! I guarantee the next time you are around that person, you will feel more comfortable and closer.

Let me know in the comments below if you struggle with intimacy and how you are tackling it. Also, make sure to share with this article with a friend if you feel like they can relate to it!

Until next time,

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