As I was laying in bed last night still thinking about the things that have brought me to where I am today (see the previous post), I was struck by the wonderful part hugs have had in my healing. I grew up in a family that was not particularly affectionate. In fact, I clearly remember my Mom shunning hugs from sisters at church and making comments about how she wished they would respect the fact that she didn't want them. I took on that same attitude for years, until one day I realized that I was refusing not just the hug (the physical expression) but also the love that each person was offering me.
As I started accepting hugs, it was weird at first, but pretty soon I found that I actually like them! Sometimes it's been hugs from people I don't know very well and other times from people I've had long associations with. But one thing is clear- hugs are healing!! Somewhere in that person to person contact is a magical ability to give and to receive love, compassion, and friendship, and to be connected in a deeper way. You have to allow yourself to be vulnerable and to take a chance on accepting love from others, and hugs are such an easy way to start!
Nowadays, as I go to church, one of the highlights of my day is when I receive hugs from my sisters. I still have some remnants of my past "non-hugging" life with me- I tend to be pretty cautious about who I initiate hugs with... mostly out of respect for others who, like my Mom, don't want that contact. But if anyone comes up to me and wants a hug- I'm there! And I hope that one day I'll be like our dear Sister Meadows, who is so enthusiastic about hugging everyone who comes her way.
Hooray for hugs!! Give one today! (Or better yet, give dozens!)