"Everyone is so touchy-feely here."

That is how I was quoted at the retreat I attended my freshman year of college, which was full of hugging. I grew up in a house where love was evident, but hugs were in short supply. I thought it was so weird when girls hugged each other when they hadn't seen each other in a few days. I shied away from embraces from relatives I'd see only once a year!

By the end of college, I was a little better at this expression of care. And over the years, I've learned the power of an embrace to show support and encouragement. But I could probably get through a whole week without a hug and feel just fine.

But wouldn't you know it? I live in a house of huggers.  My husband's love language is physical touch and he grew up in a family that hugged often, for no apparent reason.  It has taken me a really long time to get used to it, and it still feels awkward to me at times. However, I want my husband, daughter and son, the three most important people in my life, to know that I love them all the time, unconditionally. And it turns out the best way to do that for them is through hugs. 

That's the big reason I chose "Embrace" not only as one of my personal commandments but also as my word of the year for 2017. I've been giving each of them several hugs a day, not just when we're saying goodbye or goodnight, and not just when they're upset about something, but also "just because." And they light up when I do it, which makes me know I have chosen a good habit to grow.

There's another reason Embrace is my word of the year. I want to embrace much more than people. I want to embrace each day, embrace experiences, embrace opportunities, and even embrace discomfort.  Having my word posted is a reminder that if I can't change a situation, I might as well get comfortable with it. As you can imagine, this works more easily with some situations than others, but it really has made a difference in my thinking.

Is there someone or something in your life that you need to embrace? 

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