Do You Want to Hug or Just Bump Clown Shoes?  An excerpt from the up and coming Generation Bridge Magazine

Hugging is a simple exchange of acknowledgement between two people.  It’s a very simple thing to do really.  The act of one person putting his or her arms around the other is so easy to explain.  And in itself, hugging has no danger in it.  Take away the emotion and personal brand of thinking and what you get is the mechanics of slightly extending the arms with very little strain required.  It is a gesture which signifies the opposite of harm.  Simply put, the hug is a way to connect two people in a moment of time.

But we can as humans make the situation of hugging more complicated than it has to be.  Family members can even manage to choose arguing over something which is much more desirable, comforting and quick to do.  This has a lot to do with unnecessary rules and qualifiers such as the conditions of what has to happen, before affection or acknowledgement can take place.  It’s essentially a bunch of crap.   Picture someone dawning a beekeeper’s suit for the job of watering the average tomato garden in ninety degree heat.  There exists an element of fear in the instance that some comfort might have to be sacrificed.  In the matter of hugging, there is absolutely no threat of bodily damage.  The only other variables we may attach to this action are chosen at the moment.

Each person’s emotional baggage is what often stands in the way of simple physical connections.  To illustrate this for people in therapy, I constructed pairs of overstuffed clown shoes and clown hands for each client to wear (during family sessions).  Yeah, clown shoes and clown hands can be purchased, but I wanted to make sure there was some awkwardness instilled in the process of attempted hugs during the session.  The whole point behind this technique is to illuminate choices available and present a picture of what it’s like for emotions to have a bullying type of role in relationships.  I’m asking: Do you really want to continue to spend extra time straining through simple everyday pleasures and tense interactions the whole day through?  Doesn’t it get old and consuming?  We’re not talking about a total dismissal of feelings and issues.  Conflict between two or more people does in fact exist.  It’s going to exist in the most adjusted of families.

What we are talking about here is the awareness of space in the home we are letting emotions and ego-driven rules occupy.  There really is a place for everything.  If we can think of emotions being like an inboard system of alarm and navigation, there would a way to direct our perceptions to the occurring symptoms.  When we view the symptoms such as palms sweating and skin heating up as having a function, then these can be classified and therefore be separated from matters and situations which don’t call for unnecessary reaction.


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