My “free hugs” experience

Some of you may remember when I shaved my head a few years ago. I did it to have an experience of who I am without my hair. In part it was brought to my interest by watching my mom go through chemo and radiation for Colon cancer, and her desire to keep her hair, which she did the first time she had cancer. Perhaps part of me just wanted her to know, it’s ok if you have hair or if you don’t, you are always beauty and Love in my eyes.

You know what, with hair or without, I’m the same me. I was treated the same although my shaved head was usually the topic of discussion, maybe I got some more questionable looks. My mom wasn’t too happy about it, although I hope now from her perspective in heaven she can laugh at it all. I had a few people ask me if I was sick, but mostly people thought it was cool or didn’t think much about it.
It was liberating, not to have to think about taking care of my hair for a while, and see how much of my identity was in my hair. The growing back process was sometimes fun, sometimes frustrating, and sometimes all a bunch of nothing. All in all not something I will likely do again, but I am blessed to have gone through it.

Yet I’m always looking to answer the question who am I? And came upon a movie called “I Am”. The title got me interested and a few months after I saw the preview I finally got to see the film (grateful for friends).
There was a few scenes with people holding free hugs sign. Instantly I knew that was my next out of normal comfort zone experience! I must confess, I’m a hugger! I love hugs. And here was my chance to give love to random strangers by doing something so simple.
The experience was fun. Most people just walked by, many read my free hugs sign out loud but didn’t take me up on it. Most smiled though, which got me to realize that even if they don’t receive the physical hug they are receiving the love, the idea, the energy behind it. And many people did receive my hugs, even my 5 year old gave a few, mostly to me, lol. He joined me for a few minutes, then went off to have fun with Chris. Funny I got lots more hugs when he wasn’t with me, probably because he was tugging at me and hiding behind me or the sign.

I had people thank me, some tell me they really needed that, and a few hold on for an extra second or so, and the warmth and gratitude they showed me was beautiful to experience.
I had a man approach me who identified himself to me as code enforcement. He asked me if I was promoting anything, I said no, just giving hugs. He said: great, keep doing that, how great. He didn’t take my offer but was definitely a little happier after he left. Another man asked me why and then confessed to me, after his hug, that he wants to stand outside in public with a sign that says: I don’t want money, or food, I want to find a good woman to be my wife. Awh. A few others asked me why or what I’m doing it for, one even asked what my deal was, my answer: to bring more love into the world. One guy borrowed one of my signs for a few minutes, he came back looking happy but a little defeated, he didn’t get any hugs, except from me.

So who am I with a free hugs sign? I’m me, only more vulnerable, more outwardly loving and more fun. I certainly will be doing this again and will be getting a free hugs button to wear every day!

Thank to all the souls who joined me today in receiving a little more love!

In memory of my mom, who I will one day hug again, in heaven. Love you mom.



2 thoughts on “My “free hugs” experience

  1. Lori,

    I think it was great. And you’re right, I didn’t look at it that way at the time, but sometimes people just need a good hug. I guess I take it for granted sometimes. My kids are always hugging, tugging and hanging off of me. I must confess, I sometimes look for a moment alone (with no touching). I think I look at it differently now. I like the “free hugs” idea. Some people out there are so lonely and just need some love, even if from a total and complete stranger. Go you!!!!

    Ok, just wanted to leave a little comment!
    Love and free hugs,

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