I remember when my youngest daughter, at age 3, let loose a bloodcurdling scream in the middle of the night, and I went running. I was terrified for her safety, for her wellbeing, because, of course, she is precious. She touches my heart. I sprinted down the hallway, entered her room, and said “Honey! What’s happening? Are you OK?” and she looked up at me, with her cherubic face, her big green eyes, and said, “Kiss, momma?” and, after all the tension went out of my body, I started to breathe, and gave her a kiss. And then she said, “Thanks, Momma!” I kissed her again, and she said, “Night, Momma.” And she went promptly back to sleep.
When we’re young, we know how to ask for what we need, in terms of connecting with a loved one. Sometimes, we lose that ability as we get older. We become afraid to reach out, to be vulnerable, to let our partner know what we need, and our reach is sometimes interpreted as critical or withholding. Two people come together because they care. The Hold Me Tight workshop provides a safe environment where those pathways of communication are freed up. I’m moved each time I see a couple find each other in this way.
When we connect with each other, our neural pathways actually change, and sync up to each other—like syncing an iPod. But when we try and connect and miss, when we disconnect, it’s like our server goes down. (Keep in mind that I’m one of the least technological people you’ll ever meet, but you get the simile.)
I often see couples when they’re in a cycle where they reach out for each other in ways the other party doesn’t understand, or pick up on, and the disconnect causes distress. Both partners end up hurt and frustrated and feel like their partner isn’t listening to them. But when we can learn to reach out in ways that our partners can understand, and learn to express what we need, my heart melts. It’s so powerful when a couple has learned to say “Hug me.” “I need you.” “I miss you.” “You’re important to me.” “You mean the world to me.” “I cherish your partnership.”