I just hugged you in my thoughtsI woke up feeling sad today, and I wasn’t sure why. So, I sat with it a while. In my experience, it is important to honor our emotions. It is the fastest way to get them to move along and not settle in for an extended stay.

While there are plenty of reasons to be sad in the world, my current sadness centered around not being able to hug the people that I love. I am a hugger. If you’re in my life and I care about you, I will probably hug you every time I see you, at least twice, upon arrival and during goodbyes.

With coronavirus cases still surging here in the southeastern United States, we are a long way from getting to hug each other again. I haven’t seen my daughters and my son-in-law since Christmas, and I haven’t hugged my friends since March. Embracing the people I love is a big deal to me.

What about you? Are you missing hugs?

Our minds are wonderful tools. It has been scientifically proven that if we imagine a scene playing out in front of us while attached to electrodes, our minds react and light up as though the imagined scene is really happening. This is why it may be wise to limit the amount of violence we watch on television. Our minds think that it is really happening and this creates stress in our bodies.

With that in mind (pun intended!), I invite you to stand or sit in a quiet place, close your eyes, wrap your arms around yourself, and imagine that you are hugging—one by one—the people that you love. Let each hug last at least 20 seconds (minimum time for getting the most benefit from an embrace). Imagine the feel of their body next to yours. Maybe even rock and sway with it. Since you are using your imagination, these people can be alive or ones who have passed on.

If you feel sad while imagining those hugs, then honor that sadness. Maybe even let yourself have a good cry. We live in difficult times. It’s okay to feel sad sometimes. In fact, it is a healthy reaction to being alive.

Hugs to you, my friends.


Read the previous dispatch here.

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