#JoyfulHope|Love Letters

What is the best kind of hug?

favorite hugs, ranked

Dear Aunties-

I bring you greetings (with a hug.)  I have been thinking of this post for a while and thought it would be something fun for us to consider.  Have you ever watched people hug?  It is the best thing in the world.  It is the ultimate instantaneous mood lift.  So in case you need it, I bring you a list (I love lists!) of the hugs I have been lucky enough to witness and classify.  I wonder if I need to think of a new title to describe “one who classifies/studies hugs,” and declare myself that.  Hugologist? Huggie?  Let us consider, but as we do. . .the list.

  1. A hug of absolute humility.  In the Catholic Church, there is a reenactment of Jesus washing the apostles feet on Holy Thursday (Thursday before Easter.)  There are several ways to do this, most typically a few people are chosen to have their feet washed as representatives of the congregation.  Well, on this particular Holy Thursday, the parish I attended decided that everyone would go up in a line; each person would get their feet washed by the person in front of them, and then, in turn, would wash the feet of the person behind them.  As this unfolded, and quite spontaneously, the washing started to conclude with the foot washer and the foot washed hugging.  I watched so many pairs, and the same thing happened; they would look at each other with this absolute humility, it was a complete surrender of being, and then hug.  It was so moving that EACH hug had this quality to it, and the space filled with this thickness of compassion.  I got a little emotional friends, I am not sure if I will get to witness that again, but I hope so.
  2. A hug of absolute joy, maybe exuberance.  The best I can think of this was that I was once asked to pick up my dear friend’s daughter.  At the time they lived next door to me, and given travel schedules, they needed coverage for an hour or so.  Well of course I was so happy to do this.  I walked in to the playground.  The little one saw me and just started running (at about half speed as she was maybe 2 at the time) and jumped into my arms.  I am so lucky that this is is not the only time a child has run and jumped into a hug.  I am struggling to decide if this hug always involves someone under 5. . .let’s come back to that.
  3. A hug of relief. Have you noticed that there are some hugs that let you just relax for a moment?  Maybe you are facing something stressful or you have just (literally) run a race.  And you find yourself in a hug where you can relax,  put your load aside, and rest?  This is my hugging goal, both in giving and receiving.
  4. A hug of goodbye. I add this one because I went to a dinner party recently, and when I arrived, I met everyone and we exchanged pleasantries.  Well by the end, I received several heartfelt hugs goodbye.  And that made me think that hugs of goodbye are sometimes better than hugs of greetings, because we have sat together, shared, and grown in our relationship.

Are there any that I missed?  Let’s keep an eye out this week!  Big hugs!

Last thought: I knew that I had a perfect picture for this post, and when I found it, I realized I had written “because I live in joyful hope. .. and joy is only [ever] a hug away.”