She sat in front of me, crying.
Every fiber in me said to hug her. Even though I am the one who is not comfortable with hugging I recognize the benefits of compassion and comfort in touch, in hugs. I knew the benefits of a hug would do her good.
But, she would not have welcomed a hug.
Just the benefit of the hug.
I’m not a hugger.
She was not a hug-ee.
We were at an impasse.
I watched as her eyes welled up. Flowed over. Her hands, nervously twisting her glasses as they lay on the table in front of her. The tears on her softly aged cheeks made that moment freeze. And last longer than I wanted her to bear.
I need her to feel….hugged.
So I used words.
I surrounded her with words of safety, support and protection. Hugged. Without touch. But with directness, eye contact, and gentleness.
She accepted them.
I felt relief when I saw the benefits show in her eyes. Her hands calmed. Her cheeks swelled out the wrinkles with a smile.
I felt…. hugged.
I’m not an expert on hugs. But I know that compassion and comfort should leave everyone involved feeling the benefits as if they were hugged.