I hope I have the courage to hit “Publish” on this post. It’s something of crucial importance to many, yet it’s goes nearly unspoken in our culture. Especially among men (though I know women face the same challenge). Hence the need to be brave. So here goes…
The most challenging thing for me during this pandemic/time of sheltering is lack of human touch.
I had been holding up fairy well on that front until yesterday. On my usual evening walk, something hit me like a tidal wave. A think blanket of sadness that I couldn’t pinpoint at first. After sitting with it for awhile, I realized what it was: I hadn’t experienced real, sustained human touch in weeks.
No hugs, no handshakes or high fives, back rubs, nothing…
I’m sheltering with family right now, but we’re all trying to keep healthy so we’ve kept our physical distance. And I have no companion that I’m riding this out with. And so there’s nothing I can do about this for the time being and I don’t know (none of us do) how long that will last. The enormity of that is what hit me.
Physical touch (non-sexual; I’ll leave that need to others to write about) is one of our base primary needs, just above food/water/shelter. And yet so many in our culture are literally starving on that front, suffering from chronic touch deprivation.
Why is that? Why does no one talk about this? Or about how important touch is and its benefits. As a man, can I still be seen as masculine while admitting to needing something that’s often associated with the feminine — though in reality it affects us all and we each have both energies in some combination? Can I write about this without sounding creepy or cheesy (or insert other lizard brain fears)?
There’s SO much more to potentially say and write about on this topic and I hope to find a way to do that down the line.
But today, I’ll just start with a simple acknowledgement: if you’re in the same boat (as I know many are), I understand how difficult it can be. I feel you. And I’m sending you a virtual hug, hand to be held, touch on your back, or whatever you need (at a distance of course. 🙂 )
PS- I’m feeling somewhat better today and know that this too shall pass. But these strange times seem to amplify everything that comes up. So I will ride those waves when they appear and keep returning to the practices and tools (like these posts) that offer relief and perspective.
Thanks for reading….