I’ve been on the receiving end of a lot of lame hugs in my life, hugs that left me wondering what all the fuss was about where hugs are concerned, feeling empty – longing for something more. But, every now and then, I stumble on a “real” one – one with a purpose behind it and I can tell you this: The differences between the two are palpable – you can feel them in your soul.
So, on this morning’s walk, I tried to devise a litmus test for hugs, a checklist of sorts that would allow a “hugee” to know whether they are on the receiving end of a real hug or a knock-off, while simultaneously setting a standard that the “hugers” in the world can aspire to in honing their skills and plying their life-affirming craft. To me, a “real” hug conveys
Real hugs are the antioxidants of the soul. They let us know that we’re not alone, that there is someone who believes in us, who will be there to share our hardships and our joys – whose arms are always open – willing to provide safe harbor in the storms.