“So before a question, so before a doubt
My hand moves out and … I have the touch”
Before every question and before every doubt, one thing is so obvious we rarely notice it. As Peter Gabriel says in his chorus, “I want contact.” The fundamental need of humans, perhaps all animals, for contact is so deep as to get overlooked.
Each day, if we will remember how much we need and want connection with other people and things in general – then we can see our whole day as more or less meeting that need. As a massage therapist especially that need is so fulfilled for both the giver and the receiver, that often therapists will say getting paid feels superfluous. Because the satisfaction that comes from touching someone else, from making a positive difference in their life, that makes a positive difference in the life of the therapist as well.
We make contact with our eyes, with listening and speaking. Nearly every moment we are contacting something, even if it’s our own thoughts. When we can feel this miracle of conscious (and unconscious) connection, we can see how every moment contact is happening.
Yet there is something special about touch. With touch we are making a kind of contact that you cannot make any other way!
Because seeing and hearing don’t require direct physical contact with someone or something – I can look at a movie, listen to my phone. But I can’t touch without the person or thing being right there. Even more, I can’t touch without contacting the physical body of the person, animal, or thing. When we are not in contact with physicality we might say we are not in direct contact with structure but we are with energy. We respond to vibrations of light, to the meanings in conversation, vibrations in air.
And so the special fulfillment in touch arises from the fact that we are now not only connecting with the energy of something, we are also connecting with its structure.
Touch is the only sense that connects the worlds of energy and structure.
While we live our lives in search of answers to deep questions, often struggling with self-doubts, we can remember how everyday we have so many opportunities to make positive contact. And that makes us happy.
In so far as we all share in the need for contact, we are akin. Touch is the tangible experience of this kind-ness.
We do not need to doubt or question this. Every day, we can savor the deep nourishing experience that being in touch brings – of connection and kindness.
Every day, especially as a therapist, you get to experience the joy of uniting the worlds of structure and energy in your work.
You have the touch.