“That’s what people do who love you. They put their arms around you and love you when you’re not so lovable.”
On November 15, 2010, my 17th birthday, a friend of mine created a Facebook group called “Emily’s Hugs.” In said group, my friends would post pictures of me hugging them, as they always talked about my love for hugs and how I gave the best ones.
Four and a half years later, I still think about this page.
I think hugs are one of the most wonderful things in this world. Hugs say so much more than words ever could, that there is more power in one hug than in thousands of words. When you give someone you love a hug, you are physically passing your love and affection to them, and in return, they are to you. You cannot give a hug without receiving one. Hugs allow you to feel a sense of belonging and appreciation. They are proven to reduce stress levels and boost oxytocin levels, which help rid of you of feelings of isolation and sadness.
There are going to be times in your life where you feel low, where you feel like no one could really truly love you, like you might never feel safe and loved again. I’m telling you now, that’s not true. All it takes is one hug from one person to be reminded of your worth, to make you feel calm and at peace.
I’ve always loved hugs, and I think it’s just recently that I’ve figured out why. With all the anxiety in my life, hugs are like a pause in time, where I can see things clearer and where I can finally feel accepted and okay. I love to hug others because I want them to feel that love and that acceptance too. I may sound crazy, I may sound stupid, but it’s true. When the people who are most important to me hug me, I feel truly safe. I am reminded that I am more than my struggles, more than my anxiety, more than anything and everything that brings me down. When the people who love me put their arms around me, I am reminded of the love and the blessings in my life. Life can suck, yes. And sometimes I have the tendency to block people out and to be alone, but at the end of the day, all I want is a hug from my people. Because when someone you love wraps their arms around you, and tells you that they are proud of you and that you are okay, you may just begin to believe it.
“With a hug, you don’t just open your arms and lock them on their back, but you do that with your heart too”