I had a meltdown at work yesterday. It had been building for days. I had hoped to make it through the shift to my day off today, but life doesn't always go according to plan. A combination of factors over the past week, over the past three years, over the past lifetime, culminated in my retreat to the ladies' washroom where I sat and cried for awhile. One of my managers, bless his big ole heart, came and found me. We had a chat, he gave me a hug and I cried some more. He's been there with me through all of the mess of life over the past couple of years. He was quick to remind me how far I've come, how well I'm doing and that this junk will always be with me in some form or another and that it's okay. It's all okay.
It's amazing to me the power of a hug. I could've stayed in his arms for a long time just crying it all out. I think that's the safety we all long for in this life, that safe space where someone lets you into their heart and just allows you to be who you are, where you are.
This past Spring my back went out. One of my friends came over to care for me. I remember lying on the couch, feeling this wave of pain streak through my body, both physically and emotionally. I started crying from a very deep place in my soul. It was a grief that didn't even have words. She came over, stroked the hair off my face and said, "It's okay, take as long as you need. I'm here." And she just let me cry it out. And I did. And within days, I was back on my feet again.
I have met many people of late, men in particular, who only associate touch with a sexual context. They don't have a file for what soothing, unconditional touch without sexual expectation is like. This is sad to me. We are sensory beings. Our skin is our largest sensory organ. Without touch, we can even die (think of the orphans in Romania). I've blogged before about how I have sought out sex when really I just crave touch, intimacy, connection. I think this is a common mistake, mixing up one need for another.
Remember Juan Mann and the Free Hugs Campaign? Let's hug much. And hug often.