Twelve Hugs For Growth…

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

Meditation: The first two words in sequence my daughters learned to say as babies were “hold you!” They had heard me say many times “Wait a moment, I will hold you”. So, whenever they felt they needed a hug, they would stretch out their arms and say “hold you!” While children have the ability to ask for what they need, touch and receiving an embrace is often missing in our adult lives. Living alone many times deprives adults of regular touch. But even when partners live together, they might forget to hug and touch each other regularly. Teenagers often seek touch outside the family and become vulnerable to sexualized touching. How can we practice safe touch within our families and friendships so that we all receive the healing hugs and the holding we need to thrive and grow? And if we live on our own, how can we invite healing touch into our lives? How can we physically and emotionally hug ourselves 4 to 12 times a day, when we do not have others who could meet our need for touch? Maybe through a massage therapist or a Reiki practitioner? Wrapping ourselves in a warm blanket, making a hot water bottle for cold feet or taking a warm bath can serve as a hug. Even wrapping one’s arms around oneself and literally holding oneself can be healing. Or gently putting lotion over one’s body can have a soothing and healing impact as well. There are many creative ways to hug oneself. And as we need 8 to 12 hugs a day to thrive and grow, even as adults, let us become more gentle and creative in giving ourselves and others hugs. Let us all become more vulnerable in asking for hugs, in offering touch and in exchanging blessings with others.

Prayer: God, we are grateful that You became embodied in Jesus. And we are grateful how naturally he touched, hugged and blessed children, women and men. He practiced safe and healing touch wherever he went. Help us to ask for touch. Help us to become more mindful and gentle with our own bodies and our need for touch. Help us as families and friends to practice safe touching and hugging, so our children and teens don’t have to seek touching that is unsafe. Amen

They brought young children to Him, that He might touch them. But the disciples rebuked those who brought them… But He took them up in His arms, put His hands on them, and blessed them. Mark 10:13+16