Most behaviors are learned from our childhoods. (Take note parents. Monkey see. Monkey do.) My mother always says that my brother and I used to push her away when she would try to hug us as children. I don’t remember seeing many folks anywhere hugging a lot.
One of my aunts got very upset with me years ago. As we were all seated in my parents’ house watching a new-fangled video tape of the 50th anniversary celebration of another aunt and uncle, I had to utter, “Our family doesn’t know how to hug.” (Now mind you, we were watching a video of a reception and receiving line that we had just attended an hour or so earlier. Figure that one out.)
After my brazen statement, my aunt fired back, “But we care.” I think she was correct. We did care and still do. We show great love and affection for all of our family. But we still didn’t know how to hug. We hugged the way most people used to hug. Hips apart. Chests apart. Barely touching. Tap, tap, tap on the back and you are finished. Not very good folks!
Hugging people has not been the social norm that it is today. It is a way of connecting hearts. It is a physical expression of emotional warmth. Sometimes shared for happiness and sometimes for sympathy. My friends and I also use it as a greeting and as a way to pass the love and light on as we say goodbye.
Years ago, a friend of a friend was always complimented for giving the best hugs. They said that he enveloped their spirit when he hugged them. The first time he hugged me, I understood. He was sharing a physical piece of communication and a heart full of love and warmth. I wanted to learn to hug like he does. I think I do now.
If you need a hug, you can always have one from me. I don’t care if you are covered in sweat, cologne, mud or rain. I actually may be the one needing it from you at the time.
I love sharing the love and light in my heart with anyone through a big bear hug. Anyone! We are all connected. All of us. That realization is a game changer.