It feels so good to be really listened to. It means the world to me when a friend picks out just the perfect thing I would like. But to feel loved I also need to be touched.
For most of my life I wasn't a "touchy person" and some days I still feel the prickle. I didn't grow up cuddly and I also (like most women) know the feel of a "taking" touch—one that is solely for the pleasure of the toucher. It makes me skeptical of all touchers. I'm on my guard all the time, whether I want to be or not.
It takes me a minute to override my defense systems to be able to enjoy touch from people I know love me. But therein lies my healing—I have also been touched well. Loving friends and family hug my body (with my permission) in a way that feels good for me. They kiss my cheek and rest their warm hand on my shoulder as a sign of tender affection and goodwill. Those touches have changed my life with that well-documented healing force.
In the days after Christmas, don't forget to keep loving. Keep finding ways to listen, give and touch.
Unsplash photo cred: Nico Frey