TENDER LOVING TOUCH
I want to talk about love.
And the first thing I have to say about it is that loving tenderness, in its pure form (which is the only love there is), is not as easily or frequently experienced here on Earth as we all truly wish for, need and deserve.
I recently went to a conscious movement and dance class, where we were guided to connect with our inner child and then move through the space seeking and receiving the touch and connection that the inner child within us all longs for. As an energy intuitive, I can safely say, that I ‘knew’ that many of the people moved through the space giving and receiving touch that was not purely consciously rooted in the innocence of their child, but rather came from their hunger that largely through conditioning, has become sexual in nature. For many people, the desire for loving interaction has become the desire for sexual interaction, because that’s the most available and closest form they have been able to get, so that has become their target object.
Just to be clear, I’m not saying that sexual desire isn’t also a valid need and desire in and of itself, because it is. Nor am I saying that sexual energy in its purest form, as a kind of creation-unity energy, isn’t present and a part of pure loving tenderness. And sexual desire can also be mixed more directly with love, and even if it’s not, sex can and should be thought of as innocent and natural, when it is felt and owned consciously, freely and responsibly.
We each have a genuine need for unconditional, non-sexual loving touch, as well as a genuine need for sex. They can be sought and experienced together or separately. Yet the latter is more available or at least perceived that way than the former, and so in many cases, people engage in the latter, when really they are seeking the former. This seems obvious, and can be demonstrated in an obvious way in the example of young women going out to town on the weekends, hoping to meet a man that will love them, but sabotaging this from happening because they dress and behave in a way that only attracts men who want a one night stand. They 'sell out’ for sexual attraction because that will give them the most immediate hit of something that temporarily feels like love: attention & passion.
Yet it also happens in a less obvious way. There were probably people at this class for instance, who deep down, long for non-sexual, unconditional, loving tenderness, but they’ve not even realised it themselves because it’s been so long, or perhaps it’s been never, that they’ve experienced it, and despite living in even a conscious spiritual community, where giving extended hugs and generous compassion is normal, it is sill not normal to give or receive love in its pure, tender, unconditional way - even with your friends or lover.
Love, just pure love, has no particular expression or form. Love is like an infinite sky that shines out from the heart. Expressed through the body, its touch is empty of charge, yet fully present, as gentle as the brush of a buttercup, yet carrying the power of a mountain. It is freeing and healing, empty of seeking.
There have been a few occasions in the past few years (I can count them on a hand) when I have been deeply moved by receiving unconditional love or tenderness in a very pure form. One was with sister with whom I shared such pure divine love, we would often hold hands in the same way you’d hold hands with a child or an angel (people couldn’t believe we weren’t in a romantic-sexual relationship). The other times have been mostly unsolicited, unexpected, encounters with someone I barely know or am only acquainted with, who has touched me (non-sexually), held me, stroked me so completely unconditionally, tenderly, heart-fully, that I have on two of those occasions broken down and sobbed, partly because of the awakened realisation that never in my life, despite being a serial monogamist with many affectionate friends and loving family, been touched so tenderly. And partly, because the power of it is so absolutely mind-blowingly healing. It is the deepest healing we all need. All the other healing and therapeutic practices we engage with would become obsolete if we were to receive on a regular basis, that kind of love - naturally, for if we received it from the start we wouldn’t have become wounded in the first place. It’s so powerful I’ve even considered offering it as a therapy.
This takes me to the next point of why then, it is so difficult to experience - either through giving or receiving - this kind of love, given that any of us could do so with one another. I was different to the other children I went to school with. I wasn’t cool, because I was kind and sincere. Cool was to be a piss-taker, to be stand-offish. I was friends with some of the cool people, but I was always on the fence. As all healers, I was sensitive and kind, and being in a harsh environment makes us become withdrawn. Although I would never stop being empathic and compassionate, I had to learn to stop being so open. Yet a healer or not, we have all suffered from the same societal disease of being cool to be safe. When you grow up in a world where people do not have a healthy and open attitude about love, you must not either. You may express love, but in a controlled way. You say ‘I love you’ to your friend or relative, but in a slightly awkward way. You may give long hugs, but they are kept direct - you don’t linger too long, or stroke the person’s hair, or anything too tender, because of what they might think if you did. And much of the time, if someone touched you tenderly, when saying goodbye - even someone you love - you probably would feel uncomfortable and think it weird, because you’re not used to it and the moment didn’t feel appropriate - because life is set up for it not to be appropriate.
We fear rejection. I recently had a couple experiences of sharing love - just verbally - in a more direct and open way than usual, with a couple different friends, and had the pleasure of feeling the immediate vulnerability that arose when the sentiment was not returned as openly! Despite knowing their love for me, which had been expressed on many occasions, for whatever reason they did not express it so fully on this occasion, and this triggered a feeling of unsafety within me - the same unsafety that exists within the collective consciousness around the expression of love, and which motivated me in the first place to start breaking through it by expressing my love more openly, and the same unsafety which prevented my friends from responding in similar fashion. Some of us have become warriors in consciousness and love, and can, when applying our intention to it, be courageous and transparent and loving, yet in the next moment, when the specific intention around it is temporarily lost, can retreat into our old familiar comfort zones and hide once more like the child that had to learn to hold back.
We also fear the opposite of rejection - that the other person will receive it the wrong way and respond accordingly. Again, as tender affection has become so linked to sex, we don’t want to give someone the wrong impression, and in some cases, even if a contract were made, many women for instance would not feel safe to touch or be touched by a man because they’d feel threatened if they can sense any sexual energy arising from the man. When I sense a sexual agenda from a man, a strong boundary is automatically created which mediates any exchange of intimacy by measure of how present I sense their sexual agenda to be. Anyone with healthy boundaries does exactly the same. Yet for women in relation to men, safety - feeling secure that one is not being pursued - is absolutely key, which of course creates a challenge for men, whose sexual energy is stronger. The key for men is not to repress their sexual energy but to hold it in absolute consciousness and not be controlled by it. It is not the absence of sexual energy in a man that women need to sense to feel safe, but the sense that the man has a strong enough inner core to hold it and be led by the intentions of the heart. You cannot fake it - you either do or you don’t and a woman can sense it even if she isn’t conscious of it or listens to it. When I show up at a conscious dance and movement class, it takes me a few seconds to know exactly where every man in the room is at with his balance of sexual and heart energy. I will generally only dance with those whose sexual energy is well enough under the government of their hearts, or with those who I personally know and who have shown respect for my boundaries.
I’ve no doubt that many men have the same sentiment - that they withhold from giving more tender affection to female friends or new acquaintances because they wouldn’t want it to be perceived as a come-on, nor would they want it to illicit a more serious response from the woman. And in turn, I am sure that many men too hold a deep need for non-sexual loving tenderness, and perhaps those aware can sometimes find their sexual energy, which urges them to make a beautiful tender experience into a sexual encounter, an obstruction to this - and the same for women with a high sex drive, seeing as we are really talking about testosterone as opposed to men per se.
Another dynamic arises between same-sex friends, where it is even less customary to touch each other tenderly, despite being more acceptable to give sympathetic touch, hugs, and so on.
Currently I am in a place in life where I am experiencing a profound abundance of non-sexual love - not necessarily in the form of tender touch as I have been describing here, but nonetheless awesomely powerful. Not surprisingly, this movement from the universe came as a result of me going to the absolute next level in tenderly loving my own inner child. In making her my number one, committing like I have never before been able to, to protecting, honouring, and nourishing her, deeply, thoroughly, in celebration of her, the universe is endlessly blessing me with people to exchange deep unconditional love, appreciation, and intimacy with. Naturally.
In this piece of writing, I send out a call for everyone who reads it to get in touch with their own need for tenderness, and find a way of honouring that more.
With deep love to your heart,
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