Words describe you, they don’t define you. You are limitless.
I believe we all use words to define ourselves and create limits to who we are and what we can create in our lives. I know I do. Then, something comes along that reminds me that I am only limited by the words I believe define me.
When I first started My Year of Hugs I felt a thrill go through me knowing I had found a path of fulfillment for myself that would be integral in creating peace, love and happiness for others as well. It was a win-win in my eyes. Except for the other words floating around in my head such as, “well, ok, but it’s not like you can make a living by hugging people. I mean, that is just absurd. This clearly can’t be your calling because you can’t just spend your life hugging people without accomplishing anything else.”
Then, along came Amma. Well, to be fair, she had been there all along, but during my hugging I found her story. Mata Amritanandamayi is known to all as Amma which means mother in many languages. She has devoted her life to ease the suffering of others which she does through deep, meaningful hugs. She spends her life hugging. She knew no limitations and followed her calling. It is said that she often gets as little as 2 hours of sleep a night as she continues to hug late in to the night. I love her response when others ask how she is able to do this. “Where there is true love, anything is effortless.”
I was reminded of her story again in this month’s O, The Oprah Magazine. As I finished it I found myself in tears. I do not hug nearly as often as I did during my year of hugs. It brought me back to the memories of my hugs and the rush of feelings I would get both during and after. I chuckled because I saw the writer, Meredith Bryan struggling to find words to describe the emotion or any explanation as to what these hugs can do. This resonated with me because there just are no words. I spent a year (and more) trying to find them and never was able to express just what it was about hugging that, oh, I just, yeah. Words are not enough. My favorite passage in her story came close:
“Because underneath hugs’ intended meanings -hello, goodbye, I like you, I love you, I missed you, I’m sorry-they also communicate a universal, unspoken sense that another person sees and approves of your deepest core, that some real, essential you has somehow shone through the cracks in the version you present to the world, with its ego and hang-ups and baggage. By hugging so indiscriminately, Amma strips away everything but a profound feeling of validation. She shows you the real, Divine you, say her followers, the one that’s just like her: motivated by love.”
These were a lot of the same feelings I tried communicating through my hugs, but it only just hits the tip of the iceberg. If we don’t even have the words to describe a gesture that is as seemingly simple as a hug, how can we possibly limit ourselves to the few words we use to describe our glorious selves? We can’t. It’s time to just be our limitless selves and give the gift of ourselves to the world. Because what the world needs is more passionate people following their dreams.
Please accept this blog as my virtual hug to you. I love you.