When I was growing up my mom was not affectionate and never hugged me. When I was 30 years old I began to wander if my mom really loved me because of the absence of affection. I prayed and asked God why my mother did not love me because if she loved me, certainly she would have hugged me. Well, I heard the Lord say, “Your mom was not aware of not showing you she loved you. She was feeding you, giving you a safe place to live, clothes to wear, shoes to wear, watched over you to keep you safe from outside harm and so on.” Also, he urged me to teach my mom to be comfortable with hugging. It was not just me she was not affectionate with it was with everyone. I pondered what the Lord was asking me and thought, “How could I teach my mother to hug when it was nonexistent between us”? I was not taught to hug. Huh? What do I do and what did that look like in motion?
You see, my mother was the youngest of 10 children and her mom was 53 when she was born. She lived on a large farm with them, and it was during the depression days when money was very scarce. Her family was in survival mode and worked the farm from morning to night to keep their needs met. It was a 3 am wake up call for all the girls and when my mother reached the age of five, she had to start getting up then and help too. Her job was to gather eggs, bring them in, crack them open into a bowl and scramble them for Grandma or one of the other girls to cook. Grandma and the girls cooked a feast for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They all needed a lot of energy to be able to do the work needed to survive. In between meals all the girls along with Grandma would clean the house, every day, every room. They would do lunch and dinner in between the chores inside and if they had time would help Grandpa and the boys outside. It took the whole family working together to complete the necessary daily work to meet their daily needs and care for the farm that fed them. This was as normal to them as it is for our daily routine today. We have a daily schedule of routines to take care of our needs and it may not be as consuming as theirs was, but we still have them.
Busy, busy, busy, no time to talk about emotional issues. As a matter of fact they were put on the back shelf and probably never addressed. No time for that silliness, it was not allowed much less being comforted with them. Affection was never considered to be valuable, and hugging was nothing they participated in. They were focused on surviving, and affection or emotional issues were considered a sign of low priorities. It simply didn’t happen. Even the little ones were not cuddled or babied. If they got hurt and cried, they were simply told, “You’re ok! Now go play.” This is the insight the Lord gave me about my mom not being hugged or shown affection. How could she have any experience at it, desire to do it or show it since she was led to believe it wasn’t important?
This broke my heart for my mom and caused me to question and ask the Lord how it could be possible for me to get hugs from my mom or give her hugs when she had no history of getting hugs herself? She hadn’t experienced the comfort from them or the emotional connection with anyone giving her hugs. “Lord, am I to accept that I’m not going to get hugs from my mom?” I sat there for several minutes and sobbed at that gut wrenching idea. Not only was my mom sad because of this but I was too. Even though she wasn’t attuned to it. But I wanted hugs and needed hugs because affection and hugging are a vital part of a healthy human life, and she needed them too.
After several minutes I heard the Lord say to me, “If you want a hugging relationship with your mom, you’re going to have to help me teach her how to hug”. “Huh?” I said. “How can I teach her to hug?” He said, “You hug your kids, don’t you?” I told him, “Yes”. He said, “Well you can hug your mom too. I will give you ideas and times when to hug her. But you’ve got to do it when I prompt you”.
This was new territory for me. Hugging my mom? What the heck! What if she hated it and slapped me? I didn’t know how she would respond. God said, “If you don’t initiate this, who will? Not your mom”. Well after a few more back and forth discussions with the Lord, I finally got it. If any hugging was going to happen between me and my mom, I was going to have to start it. It was my job now to teach my mom to hug. If I wanted a hug from her, I was going to have to take one from her. How was I going to do this? I obsessed on how I would approach her. The Lord told me not to think about it because he would tell me at that moment to hug her. It would be an impromptu thing. Ok. I would be ready to respond when I heard him tell me. (to be continued!)
3 thoughts on “TEACHING MOM TO HUG – part 1”
Linda, I love this so much! I can’t wait to read your next post!
THANK YOU !
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You’re very welcome!