Coming around full circle, I would like to talk about the word tickle just as I did in the beginning of the book.
I mentioned the fact that the word tickle holds a lot of power for tickle fetishists. But what is behind the word?
If we really are to think about it, tickling is movement. Yes, it is movement on the flesh that causes people to twitch and laugh. It is also movement in many other forms.
Tickling is symbolic for motion, for removing things from their complacency. When somebody is tickled, they may try to fight their reactions, but it is unlikely they will be able to remain still. They will start to fidget. They will suddenly find themselves cracking a smile, no matter how hard they try to remain in their stoic stance. They will be removed from whatever state of control they are in
Also, when somebody tickles another person, the tickler often feels enormous joy inside. The tickler smiles as the person they are tickling laughs or responds. The tickler ends up feeling an inner tickle as they bring pleasure and laughter to the person being tickled. Sometimes, even watching a tickling video or seeing somebody being tickled can force us to smile and ignite our inner tickle, sometimes to the point of making us laugh or feel ticklish ourselves.
Even though this book has been about tickling of the flesh, tickling also exists inside of each and every one of us. We feel our inner tickle all the time. The question is, are we aware of it?
Think about it this way. The writer who has writer’s block suddenly can’t sleep at night as they are taken over by inspiration. Does that inspiration not tickle them? It most certainly does. The thoughts and inspirations that a creative person deals with are little tickles that push the writer and artist into movement. So, when a great work is created, there was a very big tickle or lots of little tickles within the creator that really gave them no choice but to respond and create magic.
What about when we tickle the ivories on a piano? Do the piano keys not move from their silent complacency? Do they not respond to the tickles with beautiful music? The piano player tickles them and they respond, giving pleasure to listeners and to the piano player.
When the wind tickles the water, are there not ripples? The ripples are the water’s response to nature’s tickle.
Yes, tickling is a form of physical and emotional bonding between people, but it is also a feeling that comes from deep inside all of us. When our lives have become sad or difficult, or if we have lost our inspiration and drive, we need to look for that inner tickle and do everything we can to ignite it.
Sometimes, just having a single thought about something that makes you smile is enough to ignite your inner tickle. When somebody says something funny and you just can’t stop laughing, your inner tickle is at work. Don’t you notice that sometimes you end up completely hysterical and you don’t even know why you are feeling so tickled by whatever it was that made you laugh? When you really let go and laugh from deep inside your gut, you are tickled internally and your laughter or excessive smiling gives you away.
I remember years ago, I was at a restaurant with some friends. Somebody said something that tickled me and I lost it. I couldn’t stop laughing. The waiter came to take our order and I couldn’t talk because I was swept up in my own hysteria. I actually was so hysterical that I felt as though I was going to end up laughing myself onto the floor and under the table. All I could do was put my head down on the table and laugh. My friends had to give the waiter my order because I was unable to speak.
We forget that intense laughter is a reaction to our inner tickle and if we find something funny or it tickles us in some way, that inner tickle becomes ignited and away we go. It is such an amazing feeling, laughing from deep inside our gut. It is pleasurable and we end up feeling relaxed and released after a good laugh.
Why do so many people try so hard to remain complacent, leaving their inner tickle inaccessible?
I have a friend who told me that she considers laughing continuously to be a sign of insanity. She said that insane people just laugh and that is how they deal with life. Well, I cannot speak to how insane people handle their problems. That is not my area of expertise. But, I will tell you this. Going through life without a good amount of laughter and holding back our inner tickle is a surefire way to eventually go insane. Also, if we do not release our inner tickle, we can become insomniacs and have all kinds of other stress-related problems. If the creative energy and laughter are stuck inside our bodies with no escape, we will feel off-center and maybe even nervous because the energy has no release.
In a much earlier chapter entitled The Importance Of Laughter, I spoke about how to cure insomnia and stress with laughter and how important laughter is to our everyday lives. If we laugh on a regular basis, we are releasing our inner tickle and will be much happier and more fulfilled human beings.
Now, laughter is not the only way we respond to our inner tickle. We know creativity is one major response we have to our inner tickle. Even sadness can tickle us and push us to find a way through any situation. Blushing is an inner tickle, a response to whatever is said or done to us, or to what we feel. Our inner tickle is there to help us begin to smile inside, even when there is sadness in our lives. Our inner tickle brings us back to our inner child who is inside all of us, patiently waiting to be revisited.
If we hold back and don’t laugh and smile, or get in touch with our inner tickle, if we can’t feel that inner tickle driving us and making us feel alive, we will be the living dead. We will just be going through the motions of life and that’s just not good enough. Even if we are not actually laughing or smiling, we can still feel alive from inspiration, romance, tickling others and making them laugh, or remembering the child inside of us and letting them out to play.
I don’t know what to say to people who are unable to be moved by tickling, whether it is tickling of the flesh, or the inner tickle that we all have inside us somewhere. I see so much sadness in life and so many people who just stand there frozen, unemotional, terrified of letting go and afraid of feeling alive from within. Some people just don’t have time in their lives to ignite that precious inner tickle. Subconsciously, they may feel that laughter, joy and inspiration are luxuries, not necessities. They feel as if they must earn happiness, so happiness becomes a luxury, like getting your nails done or pampering yourself every now and then after you have earned enough money and self-respect to indulge in luxury.
Never consider happiness, inspiration and laughter to be anything but a necessity. This is your life. Your inner tickle is the very thing that keeps you going and reminds you of the things that excite you in life. When you suddenly feel romantic again and decide to prepare a romantic night for your partner, that is your inner tickle poking you and gently pushing you forward. When you smile out of nowhere when all seems lost, that is your inner tickle helping you feel alive again. When you have the urge for something more and feel that inner push to go after it, that is your inner tickle at work. When the singer has stage fright and butterflies, it is that inner tickle that actually pushes them out on that stage and helps them give the performance of their life.
Well, all I can say is, thank God for tickling! Thank God for the tickle of inspiration, the tickling of our flesh, the tickle that comes from something funny or amusing, the tickle that makes those piano keys dance with delicious melody.
Thank God for the tickle of the wind that makes a mess of our hair and gives our rivers and streams those beautiful ripples. I know ladies, you don’t like when the wind messes up your hair. I can relate to that, but maybe our hair needs some good messing up sometimes. Maybe we all need to let down our hair and let ourselves go, so we can truly discover our own potential, sometimes untapped within us. Maybe we all need to break from this perfection thing and stop clinging so damn hard to the gravity that pulls us down and doesn’t let us truly fly.
Tickling sometimes messes up our perfect rut that we have made for ourselves. Well, if that is the case, we need to welcome tickling in with open arms, or should I say with raised arms.
Yes, I think that sounds like a delicious surrender that is greatly needed in this life.
Copyright © 2015 Veronica Frances
Excerpt from “Let’s Talk About Tickling.”