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Touch-Less


Author
Mirjam Gruppcontributor
︎ @_bymirjam
website: bymirjam.com

Mirjam Grupp writes about real love, romantic relationships and everything that falls between those two.



This is for everyone who is living alone, right now, and who doesn’t have a partner they are permitted to visit.

It is for everyone without direct human physical contact.

It sucks.

I have experienced phases or hardship in several areas of my life. Sometimes they even happened at the same time. But never ever before have I navigated such a phase without physical touch - of a boyfriend, my parents, my friends or people I meet and like.

It’s now been two weeks without. One (or I) might also say: it has been "only" two weeks - but I spare myself this "only", because time never matters when it comes to feelings.

For two weeks, the only hands that touch my skin are my very own.

I do it in a more loving and mindful way than I've ever done it before.

Yes, I know: self-love and being friends with your body are such vital learnings.

So I guess I should be grateful for this shift - and indeed, I am.

But this is not the point.

The point is this:

I start to hate my computer, my iPad, my phone. Staring at them makes my forehead hurt and blurs my brain. I swipe from Zoom to Word, from bank account to Hangouts, from Instagram to Facetime to Photoshop, from Slack to Finaldraft to Squarespace and back.

EVERYTHING is on that screen: my friends, my family, my screenplays, online-dating, writing, photos, courses, classes, books, and parties.

And in-between, all there is, is cmd+tab.

Of course, I should be grateful for all these technological possibilities and imagine all of this situation - without any!

So yes, I am, again - and yes, of course, being angry doesn't help.

It also doesn't help when people say: but you are lucky, you have calm and can focus, I am stuck with my family/ kids/ boyfriend.

I could repeat this in my mind and tell myself that I also have to be grateful for the calm (and that myself and everyone I love are safe and healthy).

So I do - but it feels like rationalizing a pain away.

And this has never worked.

The other night I was listening to the podcast of Brene Brown with David Kessler as a guest. He said: “The biggest loss is always your loss.” He said this sentence as if this was normal, in a warm and understanding way.

I was lying awake, in the dark, and then I was thinking:

Yes, I have the right to see my loss as the biggest - the loss of physical connection - and, I also am allowed to really feel this losses pain. Free of shame and without gratituding it away. I felt it, cried, and then I felt clearer.

My skin is here to be touched, to transmit touch into emotional well-being. Touch is also there for healing, besides my personal experience, there exist plenty of studies about this.

My own touch, and even the slightest, is the expression of my feelings for another human being - it is a physical evidence.

My whole body is my interface to this world and to other human beings.

It is now locked behind a screen.

I feel for everyone who has been living touch-less before this lockdown began.

I am not accepting - neither for myself nor for our kids and future generations - to live in a world where touch, hugs, kisses, and physical proximity outside of a family bubble are restricted.

There must be - and there certainly is - a creative way to stay mindful about the health of others AND at the same time, physically connected. Because touch is an essential part of health and healing, too.