Being brought to ground by touch
Our bodies are our physical limits, and that limiting is not only a restriction, it is a comfort. As Matthew Sanford, who teaches adaptive yoga to people with body trauma, says in an interview with Krista Tippett, sometimes we need a boundary around our experience, something that contains what we feel.
There’s a reason why, when my son who’s six is crying, he needs a hug. It’s not just that he needs my love. He needs a boundary around his experience. He needs to know that the pain is contained and can be housed and it won’t be limiting his whole being. He gets a hug and he drops into his body.
The brilliant poet David Whyte wrote about this need in his lovely Second Sight:
And then there are times you want to be brought to ground by touch and touch alone.
To know those arms around you and to make your home in the world just by being wanted.
To see eyes looking back at you, as eyes should see you at last,
seeing you, as you always wanted to be seen, seeing you, as you yourself had always wanted to see the world.
Being brought to ground by touch gives us the opportunity to come back home to the world, drop back down into our bodies, to fall in. Touch permits us to once again be grounded in these mutable-yet-finite vessels we inhabit.