I am a People Unlimited member because it’s the only place in the world where 2 people – Jim Strole and Bernadeane – physically connect with me and many others. It’s a connection of the cells. This connection with others is essential for feeling alive and unlimited. Without this connection physical immortality is just an idea and in the end your body still ages and fades away. This connection makes progress and personal growth natural. It’s a connection that most people have never experienced and even reject when it is offered to them at first. It’s a connection the body graves but when you receive it, you might freak out. I grave for intimacy and personal interaction but growing up in an environment where intimacy was unknown, I rejected it to a certain degree when I finally found it with Bernie and Jim.
I heard a story on national public radio a couple of months ago. It was about a child that had been adopted from Rumania and he wasn’t able to feel and have sympathy. He wasn’t able to feel pain. He could have killed someone and he would not have felt remorse. He was very aggressive and was expelled from school and from church. The parents went through therapy with him and the therapy was ‘physical closeness’. For several months, the child had to be within 3 feet of his mother. They literally slept in the same room and spent all their time together. He hated it. The punishment he had to endure when he did something wrong was ‘getting closer’. Instead of being 3 feet away he now had to be 2 feet away. Later on the therapy was being cradled by his father and mother. It was a funny picture, since he was 16 at the time. He also had to look them in their eyes for a long period of time each day.
This therapy of being physically close was successful. After a while he felt like his mother actually liked him and didn’t hate him and he relaxed. This is when he started to feel other people. At the end of the interview was a recording of an acceptance speech at church where he had received an award for extra caring in the community. He had changed completely. His speech was full of emotion and made me cry.
For me this story comes into mind with Bernie and Jim. Many people physically feel uncomfortable around them but the closeness and intimacy they offer is what we all need so much. Sometimes I feel we have unlearned how to be close to people. The world is so segmented into religions, life styles, family cultures that connection between people beyond all of that is not even known.
I go to People Unlimited events because I find Bernie and Jim’s intimacy soothes my soul, lifts my spirit and simply makes me happy. I also am able to feel other people so much deeper which gives me such a feeling of satisfaction and wholeness. Sometimes I feel like that child that had to be cradled, who felt uncomfortable when too close to people. Now having this close connection on an ongoing basis with Bernie and Jim has simply helped me be myself.
I am thankful today that I found Bernie and Jim who give me themselves without any strings attached. I have the best life with them, a life that gets better every day and has no end.