Arms Wide Open

It doesn’t matter how many trips I take, during the plane ride home I always have visions of being wrapped up in a loving embrace after walking off the jet way {thanks Hallmark movies}. Unfortunately, most of the time I’m being met at the curb by my husband in the middle of his work day or catching a taxi. Who has time to park, come inside and wait for someone who is constantly coming and going?

Except for early this summer. I stepped off the plane and there was my father. Mind you I missed this man a tremendous amount already, but there he was with arms wide open for a hug.

That hug was one of the best in my life. No matter how often we speak on the phone, it simply can’t replace all the words that are unspoken in a hug from a loved one.

“We need four hugs a day for survival. We need eight hugs a day for maintenance. We need twelve hugs a day for growth.” – Virginia Satir

Studies have been done to prove the health benefits of a hug and they include all kinds of things about hemoglobin and hormones, but I think on a basic level we all know why that hug feels so lovely:

  • It conveys love
  • It conveys trust
  • It’s nice to feel connected in a busy world
  • It requires you to be in that moment
  • Actions speak louder than words

“Hugging is good, but no matter how long or how often someone hugs, it is trust that’s more important,” -Neurophysiologist Jürgen Sandkühler

Have you ever seen the free hug campaign?The Free Hugs Campaign is a social movement involving individuals who offer hugs to strangers in public places. The hugs are meant to be random acts of kindness – selfless acts performed just to make others feel better.

I remember stumbling upon this group during our trip to NYC last year and I just thought it was phenomenal. As someone who has a definite bubble of personal space, I still love getting hugs and the idea that people are out there with signs handing out “free hugs” simply to spread joy is amazing. It costs nothing. It speaks volumes. It changes attitudes.

Who can you reach out to today with arms wide open to improve their day and yours?

Thank you to the The Best Part online community for encouraging me to share this story! They are dedicated to brightening your day—every day by spreading optimism, one share at a time. The Best Part posts inspirational stories, encouraging quotes, good news and other upbeat items on FacebookTwitter and Instagram — and encourages fans and followers to share that optimism with their friends. Because when optimism is shared, it grows, making an even more positive impact on our world. 

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