From “Love and Survival: The Scientific Basis for the Healing Power of Intimacy”:
“I am not aware of any other factor in medicine – not diet, not smoking, not stress, not genetics, not drugs, not surgery – that has a greater impact on the quality of our life, incidence of illness and premature death from all causes.” –Dr. Dean Ornish Human relationships are the spice of life. Love and intimacy makes all our daily lives richer. Through these articles in the coming months, I will address a variety of topics for all age-appropriate conditions and situations. I hope you will enjoy the information and that it will enrich your lives. Today I want to simply open the dialogue and prepare the path for what’s to come.
Sexuality is a very confused area in many people’s lives. We confuse intimacy with sexuality, lose out on the closeness and limit our relationships for fear that one will automatically lead to another. That is, touch and intimacy is repelled in many relationships for fear that sex is the agenda … the only agenda, and this is a sad consequence of past conditioning. Changing our scripts so that we know how to welcome what we want and know how to limit what we don’t is an education I hope I can assist you with in the blogs in the future.
For now, know that statistics from St. John’s Hospital clearly show that patients recovering from heart attacks and coronary problems who were in loving relationships recovered through their rehabilitation much faster and had better outcomes by far than those going through their health problems alone. During WWII, it was documented that babies left in incubators with little-to-no human touch failed to thrive, and even died. It was such a simple observation and one that was very easily remedied. Today in our neonatal intensive care units, volunteers come to touch, hold and stroke little premature infants, preemies, to avoid this awful void in their little lives. As children grow in healthy homes, they are always nurtured, loved, stroked, hugged … until they reach puberty. Then, again statistically, the touch changes. For boys it becomes rambunctious play, as in ball games and wrestling (if indeed they have ever experienced soft nurturing touch from their fathers). As for girls, fathers generally stop any form of physical contact and mothers change their touch to a more impersonal method of embrace. All this signals to our children that now touch is somehow off-limits, and can then be interpreted as even dangerous, thus ultimately becoming uncomfortable. The confusion becomes evident when young people first experience touch from a love interest. Open dialogue is the best parenting skill I can suggest. Loving, respectful, asexual touch from a parent is the best antidote to fear-filled, improper conduct as children grow into their exploratory years.
As you go about your day today, see how your body feels, how your mind and spirit rise when you take every opportunity to express your appreciation or your love by gently reaching out and touching someone.
Touch Me Touch me – in secret places no one has reached before, in silent places where words only interfere, in sad places where only whispering makes sense. Touch me – in the morning when night still clings, at midday when confusion crowds upon me, at twilight as I begin again to know who I am, in the evening when I see you and I hear you – best of all. Touch me – like a child who will never have enough love, for I am a girl who wants to be lost in your arms, a woman who has known enough pain to love, a mother who is strong enough to give. Touch me – in crowds when a single look says everything, in solitude when it’s too dark to even look, in absence when I reach for you through time and miles. Touch me – when I ask, when I’m afraid to ask. Touch me – with your lips, your hands, your works, your presence in the room. Touch me – gently, for I am fragile, firmly for I am strong, often for I am alone. -Author unknown.