Sunday, November 18, 2012

never stop the hugging

We need 4 hugs a day for survival.
We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance.
We need 12 hugs a day for growth. 
~Virginia Satir

I don't know about you, but I love hugs. I love it when my better half gives them to me on a day I feel I don't need it. I love it when our son Noah runs up to me for no reason to give me a hug, and a peck on the cheek. Smooches are the best, but hugs...I need them everyday.

Although I grew up with a mom who struggled half her life with constant stress that resulted with yelling and hitting...she still gave us hugs. Not too many, but enough for it to let me enjoy giving them, and receiving them today.

The world today is in need of affection....we all are. I know our kids need it as much as I do. I am very well aware of what can happen when one is not raised with enough hugs, love or affection in the home. It can damage your self esteem, and cause issues in building up your confidence as well as building up this knot in your stomach causing nervousness because you want so badly to be hugged.

I am from South Texas, and lived in North Carolina for a couple of years so naturally I'm filled with compassion, and I'm a hugger through and through. Since moving to New Jersey I found myself giving hugs to people to those who were not quite used to it. I even had someone flat out tell me in a strange, kind of tactful way to not hug them. I respected that, and sadly haven't attempted to hug them since.

Although I have learned to create a five foot wall, and to not force hugs on others I will not allow it to prevent me from hugging others. I don't ever want that feeling to go away, and I want our children to know how important giving, and accepting hugs is a necessity in life. We all need them, and I'm sure that those who feel they don't need hugs, or likes giving them that deep down they are probably longing for that, but don't know how to approach or deal with the affection.

I have been in need of a lot of hugs lately, and it makes me extremely grateful that I have taught our kids about compassion. I never have to ask them for a hug, and when I haven't seen a family member, or an old friend in a long while our hugs will last longer than 10 seconds. I can sense it in our girls when they are in need of affection, and sometimes I will hug them for no reason. I want them to know that I love them, and that we don't need reasons to exchange hugs.

Memories of my mother hugging me on a day that was not so stressful or tiring soothed me. It soothed me even more on the days when she would surprisingly give them to me first! My mom is a true hugger today, and my heart fills up with joy when I talk to her over the phone about how much I hug her grandchildren everyday, and how she'll say to me, "I'm so glad that you changed things."

Recognizing at a very young age how important hugs are makes me extremely grateful. Extremely grateful to know that I have eight young loving arms that give me hugs everyday, and two very large arms that knows when I need them.

Even in my most stubborn days I long for those hugs, and I do need them to survive. I hope to never lose sight of how important they are now, and in the future when I know that there will be more than 10 arms spreading the love in our family...including the hugs.

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