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Natural Awakenings Boston

Love, Compassion and Kindness for Everyone

Our Healing Ways article this month, “Amazing Embrace, The Healing Power of Hugs,” by April Thompson, brought back a few fond memories and reminded me how much hugs are a part of my life. Our home was a hugging household. Hugs and kisses goodnight from and for our parents were a customary and nightly ritual.

My earliest and perhaps fondest childhood memory is from when I was still small enough for my mom to bathe me in the kitchen sink. Mom would finish the bath, rinse my body and hair and quickly use a towel to dry off my shivering little wet body. After I was dry, she’d wrap a dry towel around me and pick me up with what I recall were the warmest of loving hugs before putting me in my jammies for bed.

It was common to see my parents embrace when dad came home from work. Even at odd times during the day there were hugs exchanged for no reasons that were apparent to me. Today, when my siblings are around, we always greet and part with hugs and a kiss on the cheek, reassuring one another of the love and bond behind each embrace.

I’ve still got work to do when it comes to understanding that not everyone in the world is a hugger, but I suppose there are a lot worse things I could do than offer a hug.

With Valentine’s Day and all the reminders of love this month, I feel that it’s time to consider a bit of a rewrite regarding what the holiday means. What if it’s not about being coupled, but rather feeling whole within ourselves? What if we decide it’s not just about significant others, but more about love, compassion and kindness for everyone, friends and strangers alike? After all, the golden thread of our humanity connects us all.

Love has the power to heal all wounds as well as the power to save our world.

May you feel loved today and every day.


Maisie Raftery, Publisher


Love is within us. It cannot be destroyed. It can be ignored. To the extent that we abandon love we will feel it has abandoned us. Denying love is our only problem, and embracing it is the only answer. Through the power of love, we can let go of past history and begin again. Love heals, forgives and makes whole. ~ Ernest Holmes