I believe in hugs. I believe in every kind of hug from the casual greeting to the I-haven’t-seen-you-in-forever-and-missed-you-so-much. I believe in the five second hug and the five minute hug: the apologetic just after a fight hug and the awkward “I just met you” hug. I believe in all of these because every hug represents the same basic thing. They all represent a human to human connection that can’t be shown in any other way.
I believe a hug symbolizes acceptance. This acceptance is many times the only thing that allows us to keep going. The receiver doesn’t have to hide anything or fear anything. They don’t have to cover anything, instead they have to literally open up. They have to spread their arms and let the person in. This openness is many times hard to find in our world. We constantly watch people, hurrying here and there, arms cross over their chest barring out the world, and if we do see someone with outstretched arms, they are usually reaching for their morning coffee. These people, the ones we see everyday at work, and at school, are the ones who need a hug most of all. They need to let someone in and feel accepted. They need to take a breath after a long stressful day and feel comforted and secure.
I believe in the forgiveness a hug shows. After fighting with a friend or loved one, and apologizing and hugging each other, the hug symbolizes something far more important than just a simple movement. It takes the person in and covers them and protects them. It envelops them from the outside world. A hug is not a judge. It does not care what anyone has done or who they have been. It only cares about who you are at that moment. All of the experiences you have encountered; all the things that have shaped you into who you are, good or bad, are not only accepted—they are embraced. All of the fighting and arguing is pushed aside and forgotten once the two pairs of arms are entwined.
I believe that this simple gesture is one of the most powerful gestures we use. It shows the receiver comfort, compassion, acceptance, affection, forgiveness, and love. It has the power to relieve emotional pain, sadness, anger, and depression. Two arms have the ability to console. Two arms have the power to heal. This is why I believe in hugs.
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