I’ve often said that the thing I want most in my life is more hugs. And yet this point is stuck in a deeper paradox.
Even though human touch and affection is one of the key things I want in my life, staying attuned to it is a big challenge. As a defence mechanism, I learnt to disconnect from feeling in my body so I won’t feel anything. This existed along side a phobia of touch. I would avoid hugging close friends, let alone casual acquaintances as is often the case in the Western culture. My best friend Ash who now lives in Europe, I first hugged him after five years of being friends with him. He hadn’t even realised it. He didn’t initiate a hug with a woman, he merely responded if the woman initiated.
Similarly one of my work colleagues that I became friends with five years ago complained then about this awkwardness when saying bye to me because he couldn’t hugged me. Then, I was trapped in my phobia, especially if hugging men.
Over the years, I have worked through it and now I don’t think much of it. I’ve even hugged strangers and people I have just met e.g. last year when I made a renewed determination of having more hugs in my life, I even hugged the old man who came to dry clean my couch. He was pleasantly surprised.
Still I have a part of me that’s stuck in fear and closes up if I’m extremely present and vigilant. This part of me kicks in when I’ve decided to hug someone. It just goes snap and cuts off all feeling. It turns into a thing my body is doing but my feeling brain has checked out. If I’m tired or rushed, I tend to cut off in a hug. If it’s too anticipated then I anticipate it and cut off before I have a chance to bring myself to the present moment.
This tendency keeps me stuck in the feeling of isolation. Either I have zero hugs or I feel zero hugs.
I’d just walk away from the hug relenting nothing about what I felt, if I felt anything at all. It’s a painful problem for me, I suffer from isolation and I can’t feel human connection even when I’m connecting with a human. This is another manifestation of weak oxytocin and dopamine receptors.
The last couple of relationships I was in over the last decade were formed on the premise that I found myself not cutting off when I hugged them. Even after a month, two months or longer. Pretty low bar for a relationship in some ways.
For some reason I felt safe. And let myself feel. And then it didn’t work. I couldn’t feel safe on my own again.
The other people I can hug freely and stay connected are children. Thank God for my niece who is also the hugging type. Can’t wait to see her again!
Time to chant to find my safety and security in the Gohonzon, overcome the isolation and disconnect.
I have no idea how this will come about in kind in hugs. I know it just will.
Time for some zzzz. Goodnight lovelies!