Nothing, and I mean nothing, feels as good as a hug. Sean Dietrich
This morning I woke up and did my usual routine of reading emails, blog comments, blogs and of course catching up with my pal Sean Dietrich. His words always inspire and move me and Chris has started referring to him as my boyfriend because I am always quoting him, I have seriously never read another author’s words that move me every single time I read a a new piece by Sean. I am a super fan. In fact, I may be a little obsessed with him but before you start to get too worried about me it is not in a bad way. I am just kind of obsessed with his words.
So this morning when I read his selection Good on Facebook I stopped for a moment and said “Amen.” It started with that first line that I put at the top of the post.
A good hug can heal a lot of things and Mr. Dietrich knows the strength of a good hug and writes about it so that I felt enveloped in a hug of words that was like no other.
It reminded me of a post that I had in my draft folder entitled “Would YOU Accept a Hug from a Stranger?”. It was just waiting to be written until I read his words.
A couple of weeks ago I was sitting in Walgreens waiting to get my flu shot. I was scrolling through stuff on my phone when a young man and woman came and popped into the prescription pick up line. They were probably in their early 30’s (I am a horrible judge of ages so that may be totally wrong) and I noticed how friendly they were to those around them. The young man was outgoing and all smiles and his eyes were kind eyes. You know what I mean. The type of eyes that you often see on wizened older folks who have lived a long life and seen a lot of things.
As I sat in the chairs the young man continued to talk to those around him and then at one point he looked my way, smiled, and said loudly to everyone around “Who needs a hug?”.
Well, I was not having a particularly fabulous day and I believe in the power of hugs. I don’t know what possessed me but I looked at him and said “I DO” and as he came over to where I was sitting I had just one moment of thinking “what the heck am I doing?” and then as this young man approached me that thought disappeared.
Folks, I am here to tell you that this young man gave me perhaps one of the top 5 hugs I have ever had in my life. He leaned in and gave me a firm and fully enveloping hug that made all the cares in my little world disappear. It was transformative. I can’t put it into words. He gave me a gift. And he complimented me on my hair. “Smile” Which I agree did look particularly stunning that day despite the drizzle outside.
It was a spontaneous hug and while the older lady sitting next to me in the chairs gave me a disapproving look I do not regret it. I texted my sister and told her I had the most amazing hug from a stranger and she texted back something to the effect of “well, okay – but I wouldn’t do that.” When I came home and told Chris his reaction was that the guy was “hitting on me”. As if. No, I truly believe the motivation was simply to share the love a little bit .
I like to think he was an angel. I know he made me feel so peaceful and loved after that hug and that is how I feel when I am in the presence of the Lord. So yes, I believe he was an angel. And I am grateful that I took the chance to accept a hug from a stranger.
If you want to read what spurred me on to finish this post please click the link below to read Sean’s words. Mine do not compare.
Give someone a hug today. It doesn’t have to be a stranger.
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17 CommentsLeave a comment
Will Rogers said, “A stranger is just a friend you haven´t met before.” So hugging a stranger is simply hugging a new friend. I´m a huggy person so I don´t see this as a problem. Now of course it needs to be a comfortable hug for both parties. I respect that not everyone is comfortable with hugs. xo
Yes–your thoughts are exactly what I think as well. We need to feel safe in all situations and hugging is one of these things that either you get it or you don’t. I am glad that I am a hugger!
Hugs are healing! Depending on how I was feeling that day, I might have accepted the hug! I certainly would have smiled in suppprt if what he was offering!
A smile is just as good sometimes as a hug and yep==it depends on the mood and if it felt like a safe thing to do. I have received Virginia hugs and know the strength behind them. 🙂
I LOVE this! (and I love that you thought your hair looked “stunning”!). Although I’ve probably hugged strangers from time to time (?), there’s one that I remember especially. I had taken one of our kitties for a routine visit to the vet. I was in the waiting area while awaiting blood test results. A lady had brought in a kitty that didn’t really belong to her, but her neighbor fed it, etc., but didn’t really take such good care of it. The kitty was sick. She and I were chatting, and the vet came out to tell her that there was really nothing they could do, and they should euthanize the kitty. She was very upset, so I just went over and hugged her. Not as random as the one you wrote about and for entirely different reasons, but I hope it helped her feel a little better.
Just think of all the joy that young man you met is spreading!
My hair did look stunning. Hahaha! I love your story of huggins the owner of the kitty. That was the perfect thing to do and I am sure the owner really truly appreciated it. Thank YOU for sharing the love and for sharing the story here.
Seventh-Day Adventists do that kind of thing so often, I forget how bizarre it really is.
Random people (with their colds!) are no substitute for a *real* hug from a member of the family. And once you’ve learned that SDA never, ever, ever let up on the pressure and accept anyone who’s not absolutely pathologically extroverted as “warm’n’friendly” enough, a backlash sets in. One thing I learned from that church is that aggressive, pushy “friendliness” comes from mean, hostile, hateful people and should never be encouraged or even tolerated. There’s no end, so you might as well make a conscious habit of scowling at anyone who comes at you with a big ugly grin!
I don’t have a problem with the guy asking if anybody wanted a hug. I do with the idea that just walking over and grabbing a stranger is acceptable. Uninvited touch is a physical assault, whether or not the attacker’s sexual feelings spill over into it or not.
OH yes—NO ONE should ever do something like that uninvited! Yikes! That would be a totally creepy and invasive thing and would probably freak me out! Thank goodness I have never experienced that in my life and hope to never have to deal with it. I know many have and it is not right. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
I’m a hugger and I sometimes forget that some people are NOT. I probably should do as that young man did and ask first. But I honestly don’t think I’ve hugged complete strangers. I may have touched some on the arm in a caring way, but I’m careful now about that too. Some folks just don’t want their personal space invaded and I understand that.
You are very correct to be cautious about touch. I never would just hug someone without asking or without feeling like it was a mutually agreed upon thing. It is good to read situations and respect personal space, isn’ t it? Thanks for your comments!
Some people are huggers. They seem to go through life with emotion and zest. Others are more reserved, and they, I think, suffer most because humans NEED touch. Not necessarily the sexual aspect, though there’s plenty of research showing how beneficial that is! Some study showed that baby monkeys, if deprived of touch, will die! So, good on you, Beth Ann, for accepting this “angel’s” hug, and good on him for offering it!!
Just to break up the false logic here, I should mention…I’m one of those people who are more reserved around strangers. (Maybe it’s a Cherokee Thing?) We’re *less* reserved among close friends and family. I’ve been a certified massage therapist.
I tend to be more reserved, too, actually, despite my “hugger’s heritage”! I think the best hugs come from those we know, trust, and love!
I agree that the best hugs come from those we know, trust and love. There is a level of trust that has to be there for a hug to happen, right? I love how everyone has a different idea of hugs and what they mean to them. Thanks for stopping by!
Thanks, Debbie! I appreciate your words and I do think we are a society that needs more positive touch in our lives. Of course permission must be asked but obviously in my case this was an okay thing. I do like to think it was an angel hug. 🙂
I love to hear stories like this. I too am a hugger I love people and enjoy interacting with them. The Lord says to love everyone. What better way than giving a hug and smile.
I love that that is your outlook on life, Shirley, and I bet you give fabulous hugs. Sending one to you right now!