Friday, June 14, 2013

8 a day for good health

“It was just a hug, but gods, it meant so much. It meant everything.” 

I need more hugs. There. I said it.

I recently read a quote that said we need
* 4 hugs a day for survival.
* 8 hugs a day for maintenance.
* 12 hugs a day for growth.

On an average day, are you surviving, maintaining or growing?

Growing up, I don't remember a lot of hugging going on in my family. My mom didn't really tuck me into bed at night because she was usually still at work. I didn't witness any spontaneous hugging between my parents. Even to this day, my dad is one of the most awkward huggers I've experienced. I think it comes from the fact that HIS family weren't huggers. The only time that there was much of any hugging in my house growing up was when family came to visit for holidays. Then it could be heard, "Heather, come give your aunt and uncle a hug before they leave."

I remember wanting more hugs.

There really is very little that is better than a really great hug. Whether we are each huggers or not, we all  KNOW what a good hug feels like. And what a less than ideal hug feels like.

I hate one-armed huggers. I'm not referring to those people who have had to experience an amputation, but those people whose attempts at hugging are half-hearted at best. And you can tell. They think that just swinging one arm around for 1/2 a second counts as a hug. It doesn't.

I think a real hug only occurs when your arms are emptied and your hearts are filled. A real hug involves two people sharing a moment of contact with one another where they exchange the heat of their bodies and the warmth of their hearts.

There is a young man at the church that I go to who is a blue-ribbon, gold-medal, 5-star award-winning hugger! During the "passing of the peace" when others are greeting one another with a nod or a handshake or a "Peace be with you", he is hugging. He hugs his family and his friends. He hugs acquaintance and people who are first-time visitors.

I admire him. I wish I could be that kind of a hugger.

I know that we all need hugs and most people want hugs, but I still find myself afraid of that wretched possibility of rejection. There's the possibility that someone could say, "I'm not a hugger." If they do, should  I take it personally? Is it that they just don't want to hug me?

I swear I shower every day and brush twice a day, but I seem to have this affect on other creatures, human or otherwise.

I often overhear people complaining about their dogs who ALWAYS have to be near them and are constantly wanting to be petted. Oh, how I wish for this problem. Sasha is literally the only dog I've ever met that has zero interest in being petted. At least by me.  One of my cats occasionally comes out of hiding long enough to rub up against my leg, but then only lets me stroke her once or twice before running off again.

On a recent trip to visit my family, as I was getting ready to leave, I asked my 2 1/2 year-old niece if I could have a hug. Her response was an adamant "NO!" I tried not to let it break my heart.

On an average day, according to the 4/8/12 hug standard, I am coming in well below survival status.  With no husband, no one that I'm dating, no roommate and no family around, I literally can't remember the last time anyone hugged me.

Maybe it's because others have that same fear of being rejected.

So, how do we turn this around? How do we make sure each of us is getting enough daily hugs for growth?

Here's my challenge to you:

* Tomorrow, make sure you get enough hugs to survive.
* The next day, make sure you get enough hugs to maintain.
* Every day after that, make sure you get enough hugs to grow.

After all, it takes two to make a great hug. If you're getting the proper hug dosage each day, then you're helping to make sure someone else does too.


Joan Young Spotswood said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joan Young Spotswood said...

Heather! I'm so glad you're writing again! I love reading your perspectives on life. (((hugs))).


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