so hugs are a big deal for me. most people in my life know me for my hugs. i commit. really. i used to not think it was a big deal. however, the older i get, the more consistent the feedback is. i’ve even heard that people talk to each other about my hugs.

this post is about a little of the story behind my hugs.

first things first, i definitely owe the origins of my hugs to my hometown youth group community. there’s a long list of mentors who supported us growing up (along the likes of roshad, matt h, marty, davy w, bk, stu, fettig, william c) and hugs were pretty key to some of them. especially roshad. there was nothing like being held by roshad. there was so much love in those hugs.

one of them once told me that men hugging is really important. they hugged us because (1) they knew that some of us had never actually been hugged well by our fathers and (2) sometimes a good hug can keep someone alive (there was a significant amount of suicide in my hometown).

as i got older and starting mentoring other younger guys, i too, started to see the importance of good hugs. it’s ironic that in america’s hyper-sexualized culture, non-sexual, non-romantic touching is essentially taboo. which is unfortunate because good hugs make everyone feel good. interesting, hugging can actually make relationships better (see hugging meditation).

ok, last thing: we used to have a joke about how you could tell how close two people were by the distance between their pelvises when they hugged. sometimes we joked and would hug forever to see who pulled away first. but in the end, many of us made a habit out of committing to really holding each other. it really makes a difference.

so when i hug i commit to really holding and being held AND i commit to as little pelvic distance as my huggee is willing to allow. for a while, i thought i was weird for really hugging people, but now i’m starting to see that maybe it’s a gift.