Last night I went to a drumming circle. After an opening ritual, we did some drumming together and then there was a check-in. As the people there, one by one, shared what was going on in their lives I became aware of some great exhaustion within me. I’ve been blessed with lots of work lately and much of it has been physically demanding. I haven’t had quite enough time for both recuperation and everything else that I want to do in my life. So I was not only feeling physically fatigued, my psyche was fatigued as well. I was depleted, clearly and simply depleted.
Fortunately for me, Spirit had my back. The leader had decided to make last night a healing night. A massage table had been set up in the middle of the room and we were each to get some time on the table for healing and energy work.
I was so grateful.
I got to be the third one on the table. A couple of people were drumming the “mother drum” while several other people laid their hands upon me. I felt one person doing Reiki at my head. Another had one hand under my back and another gently placed upon my belly. A third began massaging my feet. A fourth was holding my left hand. Later I felt hands gently laid at the top of my chest.
When the ten minutes were over, I felt tears welling up. I only knew three of the people in the group well enough to call friends; the others I’d only met once or twice. And yet I felt so much love in the touch of those hands. I very tangibly felt the love in the hearts of those good people. I felt cared for and cared about. And though I have many friends and know I am well-loved, it had been a long time since I’d felt tangible love like that.
I know I am not alone in this. There are enormous numbers of single people in this country. And even those of us who may be dating don’t necessarily get to receive the precious blessing of feeling loved. I also think of all the astronomical numbers of elders who are living in nursing homes or alone in their old houses and never get to feel someone touching them with love. And then I think of the married or coupled people who get too busy or too tired or perhaps too angry with one another and stop making love or stop touching with love or stop sharing words of love. And I think of the teenagers. And although many of them may be having sex, I imagine there are many, many who don’t really feel very loved.
There are a lot of lonely people in the world. There are a lot of touch-deprived people in the world. There are a lot of sad or stressed or angry people in the world. And every one of them needs love.
How can we find ways to show our love more tangibly?
In other countries, physical affection is shown more freely. People embrace more freely, carry babies around more and longer, there is more laughter, there are more communal meals and times when villagers gather.
In contrast, many of us in this country live very separate lives. Even within families there is much less time together. Fewer families share dinner together. In the evening people go off to their separate rooms to watch TV or play or work on their computers. There is not only less touch, there is less interaction, period. No wonder so many of us feel unloved.
When I was doing hospice work and I’d go to the hospital to be with the family as their loved one neared death, often the very best thing I could do was offer a hug. For many people, this was exactly the thing they needed. They needed to feel that comfort. And once they were enfolded in some caring arms, the tears that had been waiting were able to flow.
When it’s appropriate, let’s reach out and touch people more. Let’s give more hugs. Let’s smile more. Let’s say nice things to one another.
This world really does need a lot more love. Each one of us. Every one of us.
I’m sending out love to each of you, my fellow human beings reading this today.
May you feel loved.