Darlene from Time Warp Wife is a guest here today! She writes:
Since we found out that my dad was sick with cancer this past year, I won’t leave the house without hugging and kissing my parents. I have come to realize that every minute I have with them is a gift from God. Every hug, every word, every kiss—all gifts that I tuck into the treasure chest of my heart. I cherish their wisdom, their loving kindness, and yes—their touch.
We all need physical contact–numerous studies have proved that, and common sense confirms it to be true.
“Verbal and physical affection enable a child to learn morality. When loving parents teach morality and impulse control children listen. Physical affection turns children into sponges ready to absorb the lessons parents teach. Teens also need hugs and praise.” Liane J. Leedom, M.D. Mother, Author, Psychiatrist.
We all know the benefits of hugging our children, but how many of us are hugging them to the fullest?
My mother is 78-years-old, and for the first time this month, I have felt a hug from her unlike any I’ve ever experienced before. Same goes for my husband. I’ve started receiving hugs from him that not only remind me of how much he loves me, they tell me he doesn’t want to let go.
For years my parents have been doing the “pat.” In fact, my teen-aged son had started doing the “pat” too in recent years, until I pointed out to him that a pat could never hold the same potential that a genuine embrace can. It is now a topic of humor in our family, but nevertheless the hugs have improved immensely.
Since I’m a self-proclaimed “self-help junkie,” it’s no surprise to anyone that I have a book on body language. I picked it up last summer and thumbed through it on our holidays.
In The Power of Body Language, author Tonya Reiman writes, “[The pat] is the universal signal for, ‘OK, the hug is coming to a close now.’”
The pat is commonly used for social hugging, and it can also indicate that a hugger is uncomfortable and wants to let go.
A hug is an exchange of two hearts entwined for one precious moment in time. It’s a warm embrace that reminds you you’re loved. It’s a squeeze that tells children they are secure in your arms. It’s being held close by a gesture that signifies, “You are cherished and loved.”
In an article titled, “Soaking Up More than Spilled Milk,” author Ann Voskamp writes, “So I do it. I grab the angriest, messiest heart and hold it close. A wonder! Every single time you can feel it right through you, that potency of touch. It’s how Jesus healed the leper, the blind men, the deaf and dumb man, the mother-in-law of Peter. He absorbed the sin with a lingering, intentional touch.”
A genuine hug entails an
intentional, lingering, and deliberate
touch that sews their heart with yours.
Linger a while longer, embrace with intention, and let your hearts mingle before you let go.