I can’t even count how many hundreds, maybe thousands of loaves of bread my mother has made in her life. As a child, I would sit at our long wooden kitchen table on the bench attached to the wall and hang out with her while she kneaded a large ball of dough back and forth. Throwing handfuls of flour on the table and kneading it into the dough, she would spend time with me and teach me how it was done.
One of the best memories I have was walking home from school and smelling, then eating hot baked bread slathered in butter and honey. She would bake bread for me and my siblings, for a sick neighbor or a new mom down the road. Her hands would wipe little noses, change endless diapers, braid nine heads of hair, clean 4 dirty faces (my brothers), wash endless laundry and cook hundreds of meals. She gave birth to 13 children and I am proud to be one of those children. I was gifted with the loving touch of a wonderful mother. She loved and cared for each one of us with all the compassion possible through her hands and her heart.
Our hands are an expression of love, vulnerability, creativity, taking, giving, frustration, grasping, self-extending and self-protecting. They are our mode of connection with the world. Reaching out to take someone’s hand, touch a shoulder for support, hold a little child’s hand and hugging are all expressions of connection.
There are some individuals who may be hesitant touching or be touched. This may indicate a fear of sharing our most inner self or letting people see who we really are underneath the armor we have built around us for protection. This may be due to neglect and or not being touched or nurtured as a child. It may also indicate having been touched in ways that were not kind and loving but abusive and cruel. It is important to recognize this if there is a hesitancy of touching or being touched. It can be addressed through cognitive therapy, touch therapy, psychosomatic therapy or talking with someone…..connecting.
Without touch, you might eventually feel unwanted and insecure in life. This can lead to more distress physically and emotionally. Finding a way to heal and balance this out is important on all levels.
Touch allows us to be open and vulnerable, it is an opening to what is going on inside. Connection to our loved ones and our community is how we thrive. Our hands enable us to touch and connect with others and have that take place.
Touch is essential for every human being. Dacher Keltener, PhD., the director of the Greater Good Science Center suggests that touch is fundamental to human communication, bonding, and health. He believes that we’re wired to, we need to connect with other people on a basic physical level.
In Emotional Anatomy, the hands are our ability to give and receive equally. They symbolize how we are handling life, either with fear or love. The right side of the body is the masculine energy which means giving and doing. The left side of the body is feminine energy which means nurturing and receiving. Both give and take are equally important for balance in this life of being human.
Thank you, Mom, for showing and giving me love throughout my entire life. I am truly blessed to have such a beautiful example of compassion and service. When I look at your hands the only thing I see and feel is love, thank you. This gift has been passed down to my own little family and those around me.
May we all be more open to giving and receiving love, this is the balance of life.