Feeding the hungry heart

Feeding the hungry heart

The past days my body has been in and out of flight-or-fight mode.

I will notice my heart thumping, my stomach twisting and my body tensing throughout the day.

The immediate cause doesn’t make sense when put beside my body’s response, but beneath the event I find that I fear losing intimacy, physical affection. And at the same time I fear nothing more then closeness that would leave me at the mercy of it’s giver.

For if I were to untangle the web of life’s painful events, closeness would lie at the centre of it.

Closeness when distance was needed, distance when closeness was needed. Sex instead of affection, food instead of touch and so on.

If I zoom out of my perspective, seeing the world unfold beneath me, I see a world struggling at my side. Filling the longing for intimacy with social media, food, sex, money or a general numbing.

First of all I am undecided whether intimay is the culprit or the cure, for they lay so closely intertwined. And I suspect that I don’t stand alone in my confusion.

Have we not all been taught that it is commendable to be independent? That it is normal to live alone? And that touch is something done only in very specific contexts?

An adult surviving this Western civilisation is likely to look for a relationship to fulfill a need for safety and touch.

And yet, if we look at primates, we see groups lean against each other, search for warmth and comfort in bodily connection, groom each other, sleep against one another. If there is a monkey that does not want closeness, it has most likely been traumatised.

As a young Western woman meny comfort lie at my fingertips, yet I starve for more meaningful connection. And the disfunction lies as much within me as it does without.

It is only recently that I started unlearning how to mask what I need, unlearning that male touch equals sex, unlearning that my worth is defined by how attractive I am found.

It is a slow and fragile process, a careful untangling. And it is in the connecting, in the being seen that our inner traumatized monkeys appear. A creature that needs reassurance, safety and a careful approach.

It is in this light that I have grown more appreciative towards the place where I work, and the meaningful projects I can set into motion or support.

Connecting can be as simple as following a partner-dancing class or could be an extended weekend of diving into group dynamics and processes at the Mirror Centre, but what about our daily lives? How can we bring more of ourselves into our environments? How would this invite people to connect more sincerely?

Connection classes / workshops at Mirror Centre: