Unexpected Hugs


Unexpected hugs are those hugs we grow to love or to hate.

As we know, hugs are a normal part of the bonding process. Hugs if we let them can prove to be inspiring and life changing. Who needs to eat an apple a day when you could have a hug a day instead, right?  

Today I received an unexpected hug whilst standing in the wine aisle of my local supermarket- sober, if I may add.  The hug came from a young lady who, like me, had braille down the length of her arms. The kind of braille that said ‘I've lived through pain.’ The kind of braille that tells stories of the hurts one has seen and experienced. The braille that is unseen but often felt.  

She saw my braille, smiled at me and told me how beautiful I am. I thanked her, blushed a little and told her how goddamn beautiful she was too. We then embraced one another in a hug. A hug that said ‘I've felt your pain,’ a hug that connected two strangers through a strength and sense of hope that we both hold.

This stranger’s hug was unexpected yet it was one of the best I've ever experienced in my 23 years on earth. Unexpected hugs reflect and radiate a sense of bravery.  They are felt deeply and can really prove to challenge your own thinking.

And so I challenge you to two things today. The first is to go and give an unexpected hug to someone whom you feel needs one, whether a stranger, family member or a friend.  The second challenge is I want you to sit for a moment and think about the last unexpected hug you received. How did it make you feel, and what did you learn from it?

The world needs more hugs. So go get hugging.


- Chanelle Haffenden