Just when you think you may have heard it all, someone comes along to remind you — that what you have heard is only the beginning. Sr. Caroline, Director of The Bridge Between Retreat Center, joined us during our staff meeting this month to share insights and stories related to the theme….”So, Who hugs the huggers?” Our time together began with an invitation. We were asked to close our eyes and breathe in the Divine and breathe out the Divine. After a few moments Sr. Caroline had us open our eyes. There she was sitting with a fur hat on her head complete with ear flaps and visor. The room filled with laughter as Sr. Caroline explained that when she needs a hug she puts on this hat. The next hour or so was filled with idea after idea on how to intentionally “on purpose” bring joy, love, gratitude, and emotional, spiritual and physical hugs into our daily lives.
Here are a few insights we learned or were reminded of……
Be kind to yourself. Know when you need a hug and ask for one. YES, ASK! PLEASE ASK! Scripture is always reminding us… to just ASK!
Dream Big….Really Big….Even Bigger! A favorite movie of mine takes place in Scotland. Towards the end of the movie there is a scene where Ted Danson is kneeling by the bed of a tiny Scottish girl. He says, “Sorry Lizzy, I have to see it to believe it.” The little girl responds, “No, Mr. Demsey you have to BELIEVE IT TO SEE IT.” Believing is a hug for our soul.
Giving yourself a mini-vacation or what I call a “brain-break” is free but the results are priceless. Sr. Caroline encouraged us to take time as often as we need to get outside and take a few deep breaths of fresh air or sit in a chair and just observe the view out the window. How about closing your eyes, imaging a favorite place and the just being in that place for a bit. Let’s not forget how our pets can provide an instant mini hugfest. The renewing power of any one of these mini-vacations is truly a hug for any hugger.
It is easy to see how our actions affect others and the environment. We were challenged to be aware that our thoughts carry the same impact. How different we would think (about others and ourselves) if we truly embraced just how connected we are.
Speaking of connecting…stories are a wonderful way to enjoy the oneness of our human experience. So here’s a story Sr. Caroline shared and it’s our hug to each of you….
Sr. Caroline used to work at a local parish. On this particular day she needed to make
a phone call to a couple. She dialed and instead of hearing the voice of one of the
adults, she heard a little boy whisper…”Hello.” Sr. Caroline asked, “Is your Mom at
home?” The little boy again whispered, “Yes, but she is busy.” Sr. Caroline politely
replied, “Would it be okay if I call back in about 20 minutes?” Again with a whisper
the little boy stated, “Yes that should be fine.” Sr. Caroline went about taking care
of a few other tasks she had on her to do list. With these the tasks completed she was
ready to make her return phone call. She dialed and once again she heard a whispered,
“Hello.” She had reached the little boy again. Sr. Caroline asked for his mother but was
again told that she was busy. So this time Sr. Caroline asked the little boy if she could
talk to his Dad. To her surprise the little boy whispered, “I’m sorry he is busy too.” At
this point Sr. Caroline’s curiosity was peaked. She engaged the little boy in a few more
questions to which he answered each question in a whisper. Finally Sr. Caroline to ask
the big question….”What are your parents busy doing?” This little boy didn’t hesitate
but rather answered proudly,