Just a thought....
Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

Monday, 14 December 2009


“A Hug Is Two Hearts Wrapped In Arms”


em·brace (em br!sÆ), v., -braced, -brac·ing, n.
1.    to take or clasp in the arms; press to the bosom; hug.
2.    to take or receive gladly or eagerly; accept willingly: to embrace an idea.
3.    to avail oneself of: to embrace an opportunity.
4.    to adopt (a profession, a religion, etc.): to embrace Buddhism.
5.    to take in with the eye or the mind.
6.    to encircle; surround; enclose.
7.    to include or contain: An encyclopedia embraces a great number of subjects.
8.    to join in an embrace.
9.    an act or instance of embracing.

Hugging is something I've had to learn to accept and even more to give. That is still a work in progress. I come from a home environment where physical displays of affection were unheard of. As a young girl, though, I was rather exuberant in my hugging if and when I could find a willing victim. As a teen, hugging in my little social world was the norm and I was an eager, if somewhat idealistic, participant. Then along came reality. I learnt the hard way, not once, but a few times (yes, I'm a slow learner), that the world of friendly hugging I had built up around me was an illusion. The forest was crawling with wolves and my little basket of affection had been ransacked. I had been naivete personified, but no more. My fear of hugging or being hugged eventually became almost an aversion.

Life was not content to leave me in that state though. First, there was Jurgis, giver of bone-crushing bear hugs. Then love found new depths in the births of my daughters. Ah, the hugs of plump baby arms... ! Of course, there was the "Don't touch me!" phase Tat went through. That was rather disconcerting and amusing all at once. Once she'd grown out of that, she was more than happy to hug almost everyone she came into contact with. Combine Jurgis' bear hugs with the enthusiasm of an excitable puppy and you have Tatiana hugs : ) Brazil gave another blow to my 'armour' being a country where not kissing in greeting or hugging is considered bad form... cold and stand-offish. That was a tough one to come to terms with. This is not the best place for someone who isn't inclined to 'touchy'. Physical contact is constant here. Then came my immersion into the lives of others online... and friends... good friends. All this built up until I reached a point where I feel towards some that I would love to hug them, whether it's to comfort or out of sheer overwhelming gratefulness for their friendship.

A hug is a gathering together of something that is dear to you and holding it close. We all do it at some point. Think of the last eagerly-awaited gift you got, how you held it close before exploring it in detail, much like the child at Christmas who gets that toy he'd been dreaming of all year. And who of you haven't hugged a furry companion?

The trouble is that life hasn't been all that kind to many people and there are many out there for whom hugs are something to be tolerated instead of enjoyed. Hugging is a sharing of affection. One way we show our affection for our family and friends is by being considerate of their idiosyncrasies. Not trusting hugs is, after all, a wounded spirit. Ointment is applied gently and over time, healing can take place. Wounded parts need to be exercised too and that can hurt at first, but as it's worked, it becomes a little easier each time. And who knows.... perhaps the pleasure of hugging can eventually be felt again, as it was always meant to be.

"A silent hug means a thousands words to the unhappy heart."

"A hug is a smile with arms, a laugh with a stronger grip."

1 comment:

  1. Tint, what a great post and one in which I can so identify. Growing up in a foster home, physical attention, ie, hugs, were definitely non-existent. At some point in my young life, I associated hugs with somebody wanting something. And, for many years, I was bang on in that assumption. So much so, that I would get angry if anybody even touched me. I am still very cautious about how much space I allow people to have around me. If somebody inadvertently puts their hand or arm on me, I kind of slink away to the point of physically, albeit gently, from removing their hand or arm from my being. Yes, you can overcome this aversion, but while linking it to trust, it is a slow process.


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