Sharing Love

5 08 2011

Note: This Tuesday is the ninth of Av, a date that marks historic Jewish tragedies including the destruction of the first and second Temples in Jerusalem.  Many ascribe these tragedies to “sinat chinam”, a Hebrew phrase for senseless hatred. With that in mind, I give you my most recent post…  Couldn’t we all use a bit more love in our lives?  :-)

I used to say that I was a hippie, except for X, Y and Z… and I would proceed to list the exceptions.  As the years have gone by, most of the exceptions have fallen by the wayside.  I still don’t fit the chillaxed pot-smoking hippie mold as I am a bit more of a hippie activist or doer, but I no longer shy away from the title and the goodness that comes with it.

The idea of sharing love is beautiful.  The idea that each person can be God and beauty and light is beautiful.  By sharing love, I don’t mean sex.  The swinger lifestyle doesn’t suit me nor does it appeal.  I’m not talking about polyamory, either.  Since Burning Man and the Dominican Republic, we’ve made several poly friends and – while I don’t judge their lifestyle choice – it seems a bit too complicated for me.  I’m down with Yair as my main and only squeeze.

I adore this photo!

I adore this photo!

But there are options in between, modes of interaction that can be actively sought after and created.  I just finished reading “Stranger in a Strange Land,” a bizarre yet wonderful book that apparently is a cult classic of the 1960s.  The idea of “water brothers”, friendships that go deep and don’t have to stick to artificial social boundaries, is inspiring in a utopian sort of way.

Once you leave the halachic framework of touching (essentially only allowing touch between husbands and wives during certain parts of the month) but don’t go as far as the other lifestyles mentioned above, everyone’s physical interactions become a subjective question of where to draw your line.  Some people are comfortable snuggling with friends and even having sleepovers, whereas others draw the line at a cordial hug or high five.

Cuddling may be the best thing in the world.  (Not an original photo - sorry!)

Cuddling may be the best thing in the world. (Not an original photo - sorry!)

This weekend, I had the opportunity to chat with someone who decided to push those lines herself.  She shared with me her experience of taking her perspective on life and touch and beauty out of the theoretical realm and putting it into practice.

She described the experience as “glorious”.  “To caress and connect with another human being, and deepen a friendship that had been in place for years…  All felt right.  All was right.”  She described how intense the experience was and how messy it could become, but that it was totally worth it.

I can’t imagine the roller coaster of connecting with someone physically and emotionally and deepening a friendship, but trying to stop it at only that.  The power of touch must be why the rabbis tried regulating it in the first place.

I know that when Yair and I travel, it hurts just a bit when we move locations and leave behind people who we love.  In my friend’s case, I would imagine that the deeper the connection, the harder it is to step away from.  But to her, might the hurt be worth the beauty that is shared?  Sharing any form of love – when it is of pure heart and combined with mighty respect – seems to be perhaps the greatest gift of all.

posted by ayo

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17 responses

5 08 2011
Brenda Auch

Great post! I’m in a rush right now but promise to add my thoughts once I return all blissed out from my massage this evening. Hmmmm…..massage…..touch…. :)

19 09 2011
ayo

Mmm, blissed out massage sounds nice right now! :-)

6 08 2011
Brenda Auch

First off, I’m a professional massage therapist. So you don’t have to sell me on the power of touch. It’s pretty much my livelihood. And let’s just be blunt. I’m a complete touch whore!

Swinging… already been there/done that with my ex-husband. It was overall a good experience for me to have. Not saying I think it’s an ideal thing for most couples. For most it’s a pretty BAD idea actually. But I took a lot more good away from it than bad.

Poly….I’m totally there at heart but in practice I’m with you. Too damn complicated. I do wish society could get past the “you can only love one person at a time” thing. I find that ridiculously limiting and the cause of a great deal of needless insecurity. I will always love multiple people. I will always want real connections with a wide variety of people. But that doesn’t mean I have to have sex with all these people. Love is more than sex.

Now then, you make a great point about getting all touchy-feely with these people and putting on the breaks before sex. That is very hard. At least it is for me, next to impossible! But….that is where the magic of massage comes into play for me. I can totally set up a very “safe” environment for touch. I’m trained to do so but with the right focus and intent I don’t see why anyone couldn’t do that. It works with one person being the “giver” and the other person being the “receiver”. It is a touch session in which there are boundaries made in advance. Respect for that safe environment is crucial. It’s a great experience either way. When I give the gift of touch I feel so blessed to have done something so beneficial for another person. It’s a very real connection that enriches me. And when I get massage, like tonight, of course that is completely amazing! I usually am having some pretty intense (sometimes painful) work done due to the repetitive motion issues that go with my job, but I still get that physical contact high that we all need. And it’s all in an environment of respect, trust & yes, love.

It’s perfectly acceptable to have only one other person that you turn to for touch. But I personally believe its beneficial for humans to reach out to each other more frequently and in ever growing circles. :)

19 09 2011
ayo

I love the insider perspective of the massager-massaged relationship. I’m with you on your analysis, though another thought I’ve recently had about the poly thing is that it seems just so time-consuming! Think about the amount of time you spend chatting about your day, having fun together, communicating over disagreements, being physical/sexual, etc. and then multiply it times two – what a time commitment! :-)

6 08 2011
libertatemamo

I’m totally about love and sharing love in life. I don’t mean physically but emotionally and spiritually. I’m a one-man gal and very happy with that, but I’m a multi-world lover. Life after all is all about love after all :)
Nina

13 10 2011
ayo

All you need is love, ba ba ba ba ba!

(I was just singing for you, in case you missed it.) :-)

22 08 2011
Sneha

such heart warming photos!
i loved it!

3 09 2011
Ahmad Ijaz

love is always live

7 09 2011
Simo Vive Wac

for you

10 09 2011
Bijal Ronak

is beautiful

11 09 2011
mario

love it is havey

16 09 2011
kzh

love is heat

16 09 2011
john-petro

i like the coment

19 09 2011
StupidBoy

good pic, i love it.

12 10 2011
nitesh singh

really very nice……………heart touching……………

12 10 2011
Priyanka

u r ri8..!

12 10 2011
Priyanka

Love can’t b defined.. vry gud pic wid luv n care.

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