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What does it mean to hug? No, really. What does it genuinely mean to hug?
A hug is one of, if not the utmost expression of the purest love.
It presents as a courageous expression of actively listening to the needs of others, as well as our own needs.
Sometimes we don't realize that a hug is more than just giving. In fact, it is much more, because we receive so much in return:
- Hugs are warm; physically, psychologically, emotionally and spiritually.
- Hugging builds trust and a sense of safety; nurturing open and honest communication.
- It also boosts oxytocin levels; healing feelings of loneliness, isolation and despair.
- If we hug for an extended period of time, our serotonin levels elevate; resulting in increased happiness.
- Hugging boosts our self-esteem, showing us that we're special and worth loving. The associations of self-worth and touch sensations from our early years remain embedded in our nervous system as adults, therefore the cuddles we received as children remain imprinted at a cellular level; connecting us to our ability to self-love.
- Those hugs that are especially tight help relax our muscles; releasing built up tension in our body. They can also take away pain and soothe our aches by increasing blood flow in our soft tissue.
- Hugs teach us that there is equal value in giving and being receptive to warmth; connecting and sharing. In essence, hugs teach us how to flow love both ways.
- Much like meditation and laughter, hugs teach us to be present in the moment. They free us from our circular thinking patterns and connect us with our heart and feelings. They allow us freedom—if even for just a moment—from the weight of the past and doubt about the future.
- The energy exchange between participants results from the deliberate emotional investment in the relationship that the hug represents. It encourages empathy and compassion; two of the most powerful emotions for good.
- Hugging is also synergistic; meaning the whole is more than the sum of its parts. 1 + 1 no longer equals 2, but 3 or even more!
Lately I have been thinking about the day that I will, again, see my Savior...
Oh, how I long for that day.
I want to...
I want to...
...feel of His warmth
...feel His strong arms around me
I want to...
...hear Him say my name
...hear Him say 'well done, thy good and faithful servant'
But mostly, I want to hug Him.
I want Him to...
...wrap His strong arms around me.
...pull me close to Him.
And, I want to...
...grip His robes
...and, never let go
In that one Hug, we would each communicate so much to one another:
- Trust, safety, openness and honesty
- Healing, connection
- Happiness, joy and belonging
- Self-worth, self-love
- Comfort, relief, satisfaction
- Giving, receiving, sharing, and flowing love both ways
- Pure enjoyment of the present
- Transparent willingness to live in empathy and compassion
- A bold claim to the absolute abundance the hug will surely create
Unfortunately, there are times when my longing for that day erodes my gratitude for my present, because I fail to acknowledge that I actually have access to this very relationship with my Savior right here and now, in my present.
Accessing the many powers of Grace acts as a virtual—yet tangible—hug from our Savior. Each time we do so, we increase in love for Him, loyalty to Him, and connection with Him.
Each time we do so...
- We feel warm
- We trust, and therefore are able to be courageously open and honest
- We become healed, for He is the great Physician (no need for a 2nd consultation)
- We experience the utmost and unabashed joy
- We come to accept, embrace and even love ourselves
- We are validated, comforted and calmed
- We experience a flow of love both ways, strengthening our bond with Him
- We not only feel satisfied, but actually happy, in our present
- We gain the ability to feel, express and receive empathy
- We are granted the courage to boldly approach His throne of Grace
Ultimately, we become more like Him
We become love
All, from a hug...