This year, I am dealing with intimacy. Intimacy is hard – it is hard to bare your soul and all of who you are to someone, never knowing what they will do with what you give to them.
Today, I want to talk about touch. I am not a touchy-feely kind of person. I hate people invading my personal space, and I hate the feeling of being hugged and not being able to move – like you’re being pinned down (guess how hubby likes to tease me – often). I like my space, I really do.
But, space can create distance. Just this last week, two posts appeared on the blogosphere pertaining to touch.
As Sheila Wray Gregoire says:
Certainly there may be big issues at stake, but I often wonder–do we get more emotionally distant because we also choose to get physically distant? People need touch–that hand on the leg, the rub on the shoulders, the fingers through the hair. It connects us. And that breaks down so many walls, and brings so many healthy emotions. Reference here.
And I have to agree – even me, who is not a touchy person at all, embraces the chance to give both my daughter and my husband a hug. Whatever distance that was felt immediately dissipates with a great big, gentle hug. I’m always telling Baby Girl that her and her Dad give the best hugs ever. And they do! Physical touch is important – we’re made to be in community and part of being in community is that freedom to express kindness, affection and love through physical touch. And I often think that in denying touch to someone else and to ourselves, we increase the chances of emotional distance between ourselves and that person.
One of the things I love about Baby Girl is her ability to just love us through touch – there is no second guessing on her part as to whether she can give us a hug, or put her arm on my leg, or reach out and touch me – she just does. There is such freedom in that. And I think that part of the problem as adults is that we over analyse too much, and then withhold affection – worrying that it may be construed in the wrong way.
We bring too much politics to the table of affection.
We should be free as a six year old little girl to just love through touch.
And then, Kevin A Thompson spoke about being closer to feel closer. Now, this post alludes more to time spent together, which is what my first post on intimacy referred to. But, Kevin does make a very wise observation:
Touch. Non-sexual touch is a wonderful way to feel closer to your spouse. Obviously to touch your spouse you must be near them, but a touch also causes them to recognize your nearness. Reference here.
I don’t think I’ll ever be touchy-feely with family and friends – its just not in my nature. But, I am going to work on expressing love, affection and kindness through touch with my husband (and my daughter). Not just for them – but for me, too!