I love hugs. Not the light kind where there is barely any physical contact and often ends with the “back pat.” The kind where you wrap your arms so tightly around the person that you connect your whole body with theirs. The kind where you feel your heart unifies with the other person’s heart. The kind where, if time permitted, you would just stay in the embrace because it feels that good.
When I think of where I learned to give good hugs I think of my mother. I was a nervous child and clung to her as though she might be my only chance of survival in a chaotic household. I remember how much solace her hugs brought to me – how she would hold me and rub my back softly. It was as if all her love for me was contained within those hugs. I would feel warmth in my heart – a peace that is impossible to describe in words. As I got older I began to call these “momma hugs,” and would request them when I was in need of making that deep connection with my mother. Sometimes I think she needed them as much as I did.
Having early instruction in good hugging technique has rewarded me with many complements over the years. One of my favorites was when a friend said that I hugged “like it was my job.” Another one I found on a friend’s Myspace page. He had filled out a survey where one of the questions was “What friend gives the best hugs?” He responded, “Tricia – she hugs like she means it!”
I realize that it’s not so much about the hug itself as the feeling behind it. What is wonderful is when the love I feel in my heart is felt by the receiver and in turn reciprocated. Hugs truly are a way to share love through touch. Touch is so important to us as human beings and we live in a culture that is consumed with personal space and boundary issues. I am reminded of this every time I encounter a “back patter.” I am reminded of just how important hugs are to me.
When I am happy I want to hug, and when I am sad I want to hug. I enjoy all the different kinds of hugs. The ones you give to a child and ones you give to your lover. The hugs you give when someone is grieving and the kind you give when someone just got married. I even like hugging just for the sake of hugging. It is all about the feeling in your heart that is translated in the hug. When I see the look of peace in my nephew’s face while my mother holds his little body close to her heart and strokes his back the same loving way she strokes mine to this very day I know that the hugs live on. This I believe.
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