Friday, June 8, 2012

30 Days of Joy: Day 8-Hugs

There is nothing as comforting as a hug.  It's interesting to think about how much hugging is an integral part of our world.  When I think back to when I was young, I don't remember hugging being a big part of the culture.  I'm sure that my parents gave me hugs when I was little but that stopped when I became an adolescent; probably at my request!  It was much later when I was grown up that my parents and I started hugging again.  

I love it when I get hugs now.  I have raised my children to hug when we get together-usually as we say goodbye.  My son is teaching his daughter the same tradition.  She melts my heart when she gives me a hug and kiss goodbye.  It is so sweet.  I also smile when I see her hug her parents.  There is nothing more touching than a parent-child hug.  I am guessing that many parents are hugging their graduating seniors this month as a way to share the joy and pride of the moment.  

A mom's hug lasts long after she lets go.
I think all of us need to be touched, and hugging is a healthy way of meeting that need.  I often thought that must have been one of the hardest things for my mother after my father died.  Who fulfilled her need to be touched?  I always made sure to give her lots of hugs when we would get together.  There are many times now when I wish that I could hug my parents one more time.   

My mother loved the cartoon Family Circus.  She always read it in the newspaper, and often asked if I had seen a particular one.  I know that there were many times when the kids in the cartoon were giving their parents hugs.  Bil Keane, the cartoonist, probably designed it that way on purpose according to his philosophy.  Maybe this is one reason she liked it so much!
A hug is like a boomerang - you get it back right away.
 Bil Keane, "Family Circus"

I have some wonderful friends who give hugs as greetings and goodbyes.  One friend always hugs in such a way that you know she is really treasuring the moment-the sharing, caring of good friends.  I love getting hugs from her!  I think some people are just natural at hugging.  My husband gives hugs freely to people.   Some people are like a hug department: always open!  I am much more reticent if I don't know the person very well, but I am working on it. 

I think that there are a lot of people out there who need a hug.  We often say to someone, "You need a hug!"; then give them one.  We send hugs through Facebook.  However, I believe that there are a lot of lonely people out there who need hugs and aren't getting them.  An inspiring initiative is the Free Hugs Campaign.  I would encourage you to click on the name to visit the website so you can read the story about Juan Mann.  His goal was to "reach out and hug a stranger to brighten up their lives".  Watch the video.  It is amazing and very touching.  

Hugging is a way to bring joy into someone's life.  I hope that you can reach out today and hug someone who needs it.  Maybe the person needing the hug is really you.  Whichever it is, it is certainly a way to experience joy and start a Circle of Joy.  Maybe this one little act will change their day, and they will go on to hug someone else.  Don't forget that just one drop (your hug) can create many ripples in the daily fabric of our lives.  Here is mine to you!

Have you found your joy today?

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