Healing the Lack of Loving Holding and TouchBy Dr. Margaret Paul
October 12, 2020
If you were not lovingly held as a baby or toddler, you may need to do some healing work in this area.
Were you deprived of comforting holding as a child? I was. I was held by my mother, but the energy of her touch was so needy and engulfing that I hated being held or touched by her.
Babies and toddlers especially need warm, tender, caring, comforting holding and touch to know they are loved and to help them learn to regulate their feelings. Without this loving physical nurturing, they feel deeply rejected and abandoned.
How can we heal this yearning for the nurturing loving touch that we might have missed out on?
"When I try to get in touch with my anger, the thought comes up "my mother." I think I didn't get touched, cuddled, and caressed as a child. Here I get stuck! I draw a blank. I don't know what the next step of the Inner Bonding process is."
There are two ways to heal the lack of touch – with another person, and within yourself.
Healing Within Yourself
I encourage you to get a doll or stuffed animal that represents your little baby. Surprisingly, just holding the doll or stuffed animal with love, tenderness, and compassion, especially next to your skin, can be very healing. Also, lovingly holding and touching your arms, legs and torso with your own hands can also be very healing.
Whether or not this is healing for you will depend on your energy. When your energy is open, loving and very gentle and tender toward yourself, the energy in the touch will be healing for you. But if your energy is from your wounded self – intent on taking away anger or pain - then it will not be healing. Love is what heals, so it must be your spiritually-connected loving adult who is doing the physical nurturing.
Healing With Another
There are times when doing this for yourself isn't enough. You may need the loving touch of another to heal pain from the lack of physical nurturing.
Sometimes people try to get this need met through sex, but this is not at all what your inner infant or small child needs. In fact, sexualizing the need for touch can cause sexual acting out or sexual addiction. It is like trying to satisfy thirst with salt water. It will never give you what you truly need.
Unfortunately, in our society, it is often difficult to find loving, non-sexual touch. There are three ways I've found of getting this need met.
Mothering is being held with unconditional love by another person. The person can be male or female – a very tender and gentle person. The person must have no agenda to get anything from you. They must not bring any sexual energy to the holding, or any neediness for attention or approval. They must be capable of acting as an open channel for the unconditional love of spirit to flow through them.
This is often difficult to find. If you have a wonderful grandmotherly/grandfatherly person in your life, you might be able to ask them for the holding you need. However, since most people don't understand this need, it might feel awkward asking for this. If you have a good friend with whom you can talk about this need, your friend might be willing and able to mother you.
Often, people get this need met at our Five-Day In-Person Intensives, where we encourage people to receive the loving holding they may need.
· Massage from a nurturing, non-sexual massage therapist
If you can find a very open, loving, and nurturing massage therapist who brings no sexual energy to the massage, you can explain to him or her what you need. Some massage therapists are familiar with the need for mothering and are wonderful at helping you to meet this need.
· Cuddling from a professional cuddler
There are people who are available to hold and nurture, and for some people, this can be healing.
It is imperative that you learn to love and nurture yourself, not only receiving mothering/massage from another person. However, there is no reason for you not to try both. You will find that, over time, much of your need can be healed through loving touch.
Join Dr. Margaret Paul for her 30-Day at-home Course: "Love Yourself: An Inner Bonding Experience to Heal Anxiety, Depression, Shame, Addictions and Relationships."
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True compassion starts with oneself. If you extend compassion to others before giving it to yourself, you are giving from an empty place and your compassion may be manipulative. But if you give it to yourself and then extent it to others, you are giving from a full place within. Then your compassion is truly loving and healing, because you don't need anything back.
By Dr. Margaret Paul