I entered a dimly lit room, greeted my cuddle therapist, and looked at her bed with several colorful pillows and blankets.
Right there and then, I began to freeze.
As the therapist turned on soft music, I slowly sat down on the edge of her bed and removed my black winter boots.
My hands were shaking nervously as I attempted to unlace them, and I was second-guessing my decision to try this therapy I had read about online.
I wanted to trust the beautiful woman who smiled at me gently, but fear began to run from my head to my toes. I became quiet and felt myself begin to float above my body.
Instead of running, though, I sat with the uneasiness this time.
The woman seemed to have recognized my fear and asked if she could sit back-to-back with me and just hold my hand. I nodded my head yes and allowed her to put her hand on mine. It was soft, and her back to mine helped me feel more secure.
We sat this way for several minutes before she began to sway back and forth with me gently. It was calming, and my heart rate began to slow down.
After some time, the therapist asked if she could hold me. Though fearful, I said yes.
As I lay in the arms of a woman I had never met, I cried tears for our spiritual connection, for those I deeply miss, and for my younger self who longs to be held.
I shut my eyes as she played with my hair and rocked me gently, as a mother would a child. As time passed, I became more vulnerable, grounded, and connected.
Soon, my anxiety left, and I rested my head gently on her shoulder. As she stroked my hair, childhood memories of my mom arose. She then placed her hand on my back, and I felt the presence of a therapist I painfully miss.
She fully accepted me in her arms as I cried for the mother figures in my life who have come and gone.
Emotions arose and dissipated as they do every day, and I began to see the beauty in every memory, even ones that elicited feelings of pain.
In the end, a woman who started out as a stranger came to know me intimately. Her beautiful soul touched mine and set fire to the love I have for myself and others.