A few months ago i stumbled upon a article on Xanga about a thing called a “Cuddle Party”. Cuddle parties are the brain child of Reid Mihalko and Marcia Baczynski, both of whom are relationship coaches. On Cuddle Party’s website the gatherings are described as “a playful social event designed for adults to explore communication, boundaries and affection.” There is no sex at these “Cuddle Parties”, they have strict rules, the parties are only to explore affection in non sexual ways. “Hmm that’s quite odd”, i said to myself when i first read about these cuddle loving groups, but then i thought about something, what if you didn’t have anyone in your life to hug you? What if you were so lonely and you just wanted to feel someone snuggle against you, to just hold you because you hadn’t had that in so long? Would a cuddle party seem so odd then? Maybe. But i can’t say that I’d look down on anyone for going to one, heck even i would be curious to try it out. But it begs the question, why would i go to a cuddle party and snuggle with a stranger, when i don’t even go to my friends and family for a hug when i need one?
There are times on my worst days that i just need a hug, i just need to be held in someones arms while i cry my eyes out. There’s a scene in a episode of Gilmore Girls where Rory had just broken up with her boyfriend Dean and she had been refusing to “wallow”. Finally at the end of the episode her mother Lorelai walks in the house to find Rory on the sofa crying, she says to her mother “I’m ready to wallow now” and Lorelai takes Rory in her arms and caresses her head, as Rory sobs in her lap. That’s what i want. I want to cry while someone holds me, but I’m too prideful to reach out. I don’t want to seem weak and needy. I don’t want to seem like I’m falling apart or out of control. I don’t want people to think I’m pathetic. So i don’t reach out. I don’t let anyone know that I’m lonely, that i need them to be with me…to just sit with me…just hold me…just hug me so very tightly for as long i as need to be hugged.
I’m a very huggy person, just ask anyone that knows me, i love to hug! I will hug anyone, even strangers (Which i have done! Shout out to the map guy at the ’08 Houston Anberlin show! haha) lol. It just comes so naturally to me. If i want to show someone i care for them, i hug them. I suppose hugging comes naturally to me because i was raised in a family that hugs all the time, for every reason and occasion. When i was younger all my family used to gather in my grandparents house and ring in the New Year, and when midnight hit we’d go around the house and hug every member of the family…yes it always took a while! lol. I’ve experienced some really great hugs in my life, but a hug is not just about the physical action, it’s also about the emotion in the action. The hugs I’ve experienced have varied, from ones that feel so warm and cozy, to ones that feel sweet and kind, others meaningful and emotional, and others strong and safe..others well…they just feel darn good! There’s meaning in hugs, there’s meaning in affection. As humans we need affection, we need it to survive. Research shows that it essential for babies to be held and coddled, without affection they can not thrive and develop properly. So if affection is so vital to our survival, a basic human need, then why are we so ashamed to admit that we need it? Why are we so ashamed to ask to be held? Pride. Fear. We are scared to look weak, and we are also scared of how the person we ask to hold us will react…will they respond willingly,or will they be freaked out? I know that i have people in my life who i can go to, people who would be more than willing to hug me when i need to cry, and won’t think me weak. But do i go to them? Do i reach out for the people who care about me? No. I don’t reach, instead i pull away. I retreat into myself.
We humans tend to act like abused puppies, we’ve been hurt so badly that when someone reaches out to care for us we bite them, because we are too scared of being hurt to see that the person doesn’t want to hurt us, but love us. And when we bite the people who reach for us, we hurt them, even if we don’t mean too, and they pull away…and then you are both left hurt and alone.
I love One Republic, but their line “It’s too late too apologize” is wrong. It’s never too late to apologize. It’s never to late to say “I’m sorry”. It’s never ever too late, or too far gone, to say “Let’s fix this”. Because nothing is unforgivable.
Life is too short to let things come between friends and family. It’s too short to stay away from friends and loved ones. I don’t care what’s happened, i don’t care what’s been said or done, i don’t care how much time has passed, it is NEVER too late to start again. If you’ve been hurt by someone, lied to, betrayed, neglected, i encourage you to forgive that person who hurt you. Let the anger and resentment go, let the hurt wash off of you. It may take a lot of tears, and it may take a whole lot of prayer, and it may even take you going to that person and talking about the situation that hurt you. But you can move past the pain, you can forgive and give grace to the person that hurt you, you can start new.
Or maybe you’re the one who did the hurting, maybe you’re ashamed of how you acted and are in need of forgiveness. I just want to deeply encourage you to go to that person and ask for forgiveness, i am not saying it will be easy, it might be messy and awkward, but you owe it to the person you hurt, and you owe it to yourself. You are carrying guilt that you do not have to carry, you can be released of that guilt by first going to God and asking for forgivness, and then going to the person you hurt and doing the same. I’m going to be honest here when i say that there have been people who have deeply hurt me, who i just wish would take responsibility for their actions, and who i am so ready and willing to forgive and seek restoration in the relationship.
So go to the people you care about, make things right. We all need one another. We are all brothers and sisters in Christ. We are called to love one another like Christ loves us. Let’s do it. Friends, love your family and friends, treat them with kindness and respect. Honor them. They are so, so, valuable.
I’ve been on both sides, I’ve done the hurting, and I’ve been hurt, and i know that the only way to true peace is forgiveness. I also know that Restoration is possible. I’ve experienced it.
“I am willing to forgive
Are you willing to take ownership
‘Cause I am so willing to forgive
We’re only given one chance to live” – “Jekyll and Hyde” – Plumb
I have only recently for the first time cried while being held…and i am almost 21, how sad is that? When i finally did that, cried in someones arms, i felt such a release.I had been holding so many hard feelings, so many wounds, and when i finally let that person hold me while i cried, all those feelings crumbled…my heart felt softer. Sometimes there are no words to say how you feel, when all that needs to be said can be said with a hug and a squeeze of the hand, words are not needed. I’ll always take actions over words any day.
There are times when you just need someone to quietly sit with you, because you just don’t want to deal with things alone. And that’s normal, we are not made to be alone. It hurts me to think of any of my friends feeling lonely and too scared to come to me for affection and support, i am so willing to just hug them for as long as it takes for them to feel okay again. I want my friends to reach out to me, and i know they feel the same way about me. I hope to be able to reach past my pride and take them up on the offer when i need too, and vise verses.
In the moments that i do choose to deal with things alone, when i find myself on my bedroom floor silently crying, i ask God to hold me…and he does. I cry out like a little child “Jesus, hold me. Take care of me.”, and He wraps His loving arms around my entire being, and holds me. His arms are full of peace and safety, He wraps me in grace, and i feel held, i feel taken care of. God commands His angels around me, and i know that i am not alone. God and his angels are sitting quietly with me as i cry, they are holding me…hugging me.
And if you, my dear ones, find yourselves alone, without anyone to hug you, know that if you ask our Heavenly Father to wrap His strong arms around you, He will. Our God will hug you so tightly and peacefully, and He will never ever let you go…His hugs are always the best, i dare you to ask for one.
Here’s what poet Bradley Hathaway has to say on the subject of hugs in one of his
most famous poems, titled “The Hug Poem”.
For info on Cuddle Party go to http://www.cuddleparty.com/index.cfm