Caresses Are Not Eaten, But Nourished

Caresses are not eaten, but nourished

Today’s world exposes us to situations that are difficult to solve, especially because, for the most part, they are beyond our control. Some examples could be unemployment, terrorism or global warming. We need affective and emotional stimuli that comfort us in this increasingly cold and distant environment, we need caresses.

This does not mean that we need a very long list of tips on how to manage our feelings and emotions. The most important thing is also not to find opportunities to distract ourselves from everyday difficulties and anxiety. In reality, both of these aspects (opportunities and advice) are important, but they are not enough if we intend to feed our heart only with them.

In reality, the stimuli that allow us to be strong are those that make us feel recognized and appreciated. Caresses are the nourishment par excellence that the mind needs to grow and resist in the face of problems.

The caresses and their world

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The world of caresses is not just made up of physical contact, although this is certainly an essential element. In it there are also words and all the affectionate gestures that we are able to give; there are looks and voices that caress with their warmth; there are words that are like a cuddle for the soul.

In fact, in transpersonal psychology, it is argued that caresses can also be “negative” : they are insincere gestures of recognition, rejection and hostility.

How can these attitudes be considered caresses? They are so because they imply a recognition of the other, albeit a negative one. The opposite of the world of caresses is total indifference, that is, ignorance of the existence of the other. It is an equation between the other individual and emptiness, which strips the ignored person of emotions and feelings.

In any case, the caresses capable of nourishing and enriching are what we can call “genuine caresses”. Even animals are involved in these expressions. They are small gestures that make a simple moment special.

The thirst for caresses

Caresses are so important to the human being that a person can even get sick and die if they do not receive any, especially during the first years of life. Not being caressed saddens, depresses and ultimately kills.

In today’s world, there seems to be a very strong thirst for caresses, of which we are not fully aware. This is clearly noticeable in social networks, for example: many people publish  posts not so much to express what they think or feel, but to get a “like” that gives comfort and support.

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Probably, all actions aimed at attracting the attention of others arise from the thirst for caresses. It’s like a way of silently shouting “I’m here!” It is a way to ask others to recognize our existence; after all, we are still evolved mammals and, as such, we desperately need each other.

Caress and be caressed

We do not all know how to caress nor do we all allow them to caress us. In reality, there are few experts in this particular art. The question that arises spontaneously is “why, if we all need caresses, is there someone hindering them?”.

The answer is only one: out of fear. It is the fear that leads these individuals to raise great barriers that hide them from others, that show them as absolutely autonomous and independent, even if they long to have important connections with other people.

The idea is constantly promoted that excellence consists in total independence, in the absence of conditioning by others. This idea is deeply rooted in us, so much so that many struggle every day to make this fantasy come true. As if the struggle to defend independence could be sustained by the attitude of the “contrary bastian”, typical of adolescents.

While independence may be seen as a great virtue in some areas, remember that the emotional price to pay is very high.

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Really strong people are not born from harsh treatment or absolute independence, on the contrary: those who live in an environment capable of giving caresses and security have more emotional resources to face adversity. Caressing and being caressed is a power that makes existence more immense and happy.

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