I recently came across the acronym H.U.G.S. which stands for, Helping Us Grow Spiritually. Because I haven’t always been comfortable with hugs, I’ve developed a simple trick to avoid awkwardness. When I feel it’s appropriate, and I want to offer a hug, I simply ask, “Are you a hugger?” Most people say “yes,” “okay,” or “sure.” At times I can sense tension on their part, but they open their arms and let me in.
I don’t give bear hugs. Usually a 2-3 second hug with the corresponding 3 taps on the back suffices. One of my favorite authors was a hugger. He had the practice down to an art. His secret? He simply expected the other person would hug them back if he made the initial gesture. After church he would station himself at the church’s exit and open his arms to everyone — friend or stranger — and give, big, warm, I’m-glad-you’re-in-my-life hugs that made people feel good and want to come back for more.
Can hugs help us grow spiritually? Absolutely. They open our hearts and remind us we are part of one big family. Everyone is welcome — no strangers here. Step right up and get your first-class hug. You deserve it. I want to wrap a hug for you within the pages of this book. If you’ve followed me all year, then you deserve it. If we ever meet in person, then I want you to remember that I struggle with this Divine practice, so step up to me, throw open your arms, and invite me in. It will brighten both our days, and we will grow spiritually together.
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