Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The power of touch

I was in MN for a week earlier this month and it was a spectacular week.  I got to reconnect with my girls in a way that just being on the phone can't accomplish.  Since then I have been thinking a lot about the power of human touch.  Being in MN and able to hug and cuddle the people who I miss so much when we are apart reminded me of just how important physical touch actually is. 

Jodi's baby Wally was born the end of August.  I got to spend hours with him cuddled on my chest.  That time holding him made me fall in love with him.  It's funny too because it isn't like there is any personality connection with him being so tiny and young.  It literally was simply the skin on skin contact that made the connection.

Maybe it's because of the five love languages (If you haven't read Gary Chapman's book please do) touch is one of my most strongly felt, but when I don't have the physical contact with people who I love I feel empty.  My tank got very filled during my week in MN.

It's been felt in my new relationship as well.  Our schedules have been a bit difficult to match up at times recently.  It's been better since my return from MN but time in the same space was at a premium for a while there and looming separation was always around the corner.  It's been good in some ways - we definitely know how to communicate with each other at this point and that can be tricky in some relationships - but when that sharing of space and the creation of memories that goes with that is missing I get antsy.  The effort that RG has made to get together even for a brief moment recently has not been missed by me.

Heading into basketball season again I think about the positive influence touch can have on the kiddos on my team.  I guarantee the power of a high five or a pat on the back is not missed by the kids I'm coaching even if they aren't to a place in their maturity to recognize the impact.  You never know what a kid's home life is like.  Are mom and/or dad hugging them or giving them positive touch?  Is there a possibility of abusive touch?  Do siblings roughhouse together creating a touch that actually can be positive as well?  What can I do through touch (and time, attention, etc) to give a child a positive experience while they are in my charge?

I guess I see the power of touch almost as much when I think about the purposeful lack of touch.  That choice can be as devastating as the extension of touch can be positive.  I know when I am upset about something I will feel myself choose to physically withdraw.  It's a statement that I can make and has an impact on me just by doing so even if it doesn't have an impact on the person to whom I'm trying to make the statement. 

The song Magic by Colbie Caillat came on the radio yesterday and I realized that this song is all about touch.  The first line is "You've got magic inside your fingertips.  It's leaking out all over my skin." Uh duh.  I'm not sure why I didn't connect to the song sooner.  I've only listened to her album about a million times.  Sometimes though a song has to hit you at the right moment in the right situation to have the impact it's meant to have.  I have listened to it with new ears about 10 times since yesterday.  It's been a while since I've put any music on here so I thought I'd share it with you today.  The video isn't anything but I really love this version of the song.  I hope you enjoy it.

PS - watch out Seattle friends: I'm coming your way and I'm looking for some good hugs! :-)

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