I’ve had an aversion to touch for as long as I can recall. I’m not quite sure where it came from; my best guess is a traumatic early childhood memory. I can still vividly remember sitting in the back seat of my parent’s car as a child not wanting my thighs to touch my sibling’s. This was pretty difficult to accomplish mind you, as I have three brothers, so the car was crowded.
I assumed that others did not want to be touched either based on my own paradigm, so I just went through my young adult life avoiding physical contact with anyone that I wasn’t really comfortable with. I would hug and kiss my boyfriends of course when I started dating, but I would receive complaints from some that I was not affectionate enough. Still though, I never enjoyed hugging much, it just felt expected. It may be the introvert in me, the jury is still out on that.
Then of course, I had a baby. All of a sudden my world was filled with snuggles and cuddling all the time, and I loved it! There is no fear of rejection with a child, they are so full of love. I felt so at peace hugging my baby boy. It made me wonder why I found it so easy to be affectionate with him but not with adults.
In more recent years I started to come to the realization that this fear of rejection and intimacy is holding me back in life. There’s this little child inside that says, “Hey, it’s easier to not do anything than to try and be horribly rejected!” Sadly, I listen to this voice far too often! When I joined the yoga community and saw how friendly everyone was, I almost felt like an outsider looking in at all the happy squealing women embracing each other. I longed to be part of that world. So here is where my challenge began. I would force myself out of my comfort zone and hug people! It has taken a lot of mental work to push myself to get over my fear of hugging random people, but I have been doing really well so far.
So, I propose a hugging challenge for the month of December! Anyone can join me at anytime. My goal is to try to hug at least one person every day. Hug everyone and anyone this holiday season and spread some joy and love. Tis’ the season of giving hugs! If you’re already a big hugger then some other random acts of kindness will work too. 😉 Spread the word and let me know in the comments if you have ever been afraid to be intimate with someone.