The Rescuing Hug
“We are not people who touch each other carelessly; every point of contact between us feels important, a rush of energy and relief.”
As someone who often finds himself in the hands of another, as my guide, the reassurance of physical contact is a gift I receive and perhaps exchange more frequently than is usual in our society. But I am always moved to my core by those people who instinctively understand the power of human contact as a means of providing assurance confidence and perhaps more fundamentally, acknowledgement. For one who is unable to fulfil these most essential of human needs through eye contact. The feelings of acceptance and belonging conveyed through the warmth of an arm or the gentle but reassuring sensation of interlocking fingers or connecting palms, are profound.
I was inspired to reflect on this by a story I’ve just heard about the healing power of a hug. A pair of premature twin baby girls were placed in separate incubators. One baby made healthy progress whilst her sister’s health declined. Going against hospital procedure, a nurse moved the failing twin into the incubator with her thriving sister. Immediately, the healthy baby put an arm around her weaker sister, and from then on the ailing sister’s heart rate stabilised and she began to increase in weight, and both twins thrived.
Never underestimate the difference you might make by proffering a hand, or offering a hug to someone who might need it!