To hold close, embrace, enfold, squeeze, cuddle, clasp
I am a hugger.I think that I am a hugger because, over my many years, I have been hugged by the best. When I was a little girl, my grandmother always had a warm hug and a pat on my back to assure me that all was good. I felt safe and happy after one of her "grandma hugs". It cost her nothing and gave me everything; validation, support and love all wrapped up in the arms of one little woman in a red sweater.
And over the years I was blessed to receive hugs when I seemed to need them the most. Dr. Sullivan, an LMU English professor with a constant smile emanating from saggy worn cheeks, once found me sitting on campus with a worried look on my face in anticipation of an exam that I was ill prepared for. In one fell swoop he swept me up, hugged me and told that I was brilliant, beautiful and capable of conquering the world. I felt so empowered that I aced the exam. Thank you Dr. Sullivan!
Some hugs were more gentle squeezes like the ones my dad would give me after every important job interview as he asked whether I thought the interviewer had "liked" me. Or the ones I received from my first principal after a parent had just ripped me apart for giving her child a B on an exam. My mother in law was the Queen of Hugs and always had one for me whether I needed it or not. I think it was just her way of saying I love you. And I relished each and every hug given.
And so, over time, I became a hugger; sometimes a hesitant squeezer and sometimes an outrageous hugger. I hug to tell people that they are loved, safe, appreciated, understood, heard and more. I know that not everyone is a hugger and I also know that some people are not comfortable being hugged. And so, if truth be told, I am always a little anxiously hopeful that the recipient of my hugs finds them as satisfying as I do. My special "hugees" are my children, my daughter in law, my sisters, my past teachers and some favorite students. I hug to show I care and in the process I usually receive back far more than I gave.
Consider taking a moment today to share a hug with someone who needs it, someone you love or just because you can. Show your own special someone that they are brilliant, beautiful and capable of conquering their world all with one little hug!