Hello, reader. How are you? I was pondering why physical contact without love doesn’t work for me. I thought of a new way to explain it: If the body is expressing love without the spirit expressing love, that feels creepy and empty, like touching a zombie. Why would I want to touch a zombie?
When I hug my friend a good, true hug, my spirit stirs within me. It rises up from where it was resting, like a fish from the deep. It expands and fills my body for the hug, and I shine inside with spirit-light. It’s a nourishing small ritual of connection, and I feel safe.
Sexual contact is similar but more pronounced. I’m ready to open my heart, body, mind, and soul to this person. I show up for love–all of me. If someone shows up with their body but not other parts of them, I can’t do it. If I don’t understand until later that it was not significant to them, I get really hurt.
Not that I need something to be eternal. Just I need all the parts of me on the same page, and I need something similar to be happening for the other person.
A brief hug can be nice with just about anyone, but a long hug is meaningful. Hugs can help me feel grounded and safe. Let me tell you a story.
I loved my friend and thought they loved me too somehow, from the long, tender hugs. Then I asked for help after a dentist appointment, and they ignored my txt. Wow, I thought they cared, and I was hurt.
That led to a whole conversation where I asked to be cared for. They didn’t like my needs and felt my request as inappropriate expectations. They told me that I was not special to them, and there was no love between us. Wow, ok. What were those long hugs, then?
They explained they offer touch as service, and it doesn’t mean anything to them. Once I heard that, I asked them to stop touching me. I need touch to be mutual, not love kindled inside me and desire to connect, while for them, nothing is really going on inside. Drastic lack of balance is not ok.
Suddenly having no touch changed our relationship. I could keep my wits about me better and hold onto my power, once I was no longer riding the confusing ups and downs of how this person was treating me. But we lost the ability to co-regulate and shake the etch-a-sketch–physical contact can be a tension-release in such a helpful way.
Touch was my favorite thing about this person, and with no touch, what was our relationship? Pretty much toast. I was the same Laura-Marie with copious words, feelings, needs, perceptions, intelligence, movement, mass, power, and light. But rather than appreciating all that I am, this person just seemed stressed out by me. It was sad, to see how I stressed them just by being me.
Things could change again. I thought about asking for hugs again. But it was terrible to live with lack of balance and love this person when they were like a zombie. No, I can’t do that.
They smoke a ton of weed, which seems to intensify the zombie quality. They’re trying to protect themselves from hurting by deadening themselves to the world. Weed might lessen their anxiety, but it also lessens their vitality and responsibility.
Being responsible to one another is love. It’s why I’m on earth.
Their weed use reminds me of psych meds. I’d rather be crazy and reactive, than sedated to the point of not caring. I got off my bipolar cocktail for a reason. I like myself better with big feelings. It’s a lot of work to live with them, but I like myself.
What do you think, reader? Where are you on the spectrum of caring? Do you care enough? Sometimes do you care too much?
I would like to make a world where we all have the care we need, because we all show up for love. Skilled love would be abundant everywhere, not a rarity. For me, showing up for love is fun, not a burden.
I want touch with people I trust. That’s on the top of my new needs list. I can’t trust people who touch me without loving me. My heart is broken over and over again until I realize what’s wrong and get out.