“Like Nelson Mandela, we must be willing to embrace the long walk toward freedom.” - Angela Davis
In El Libro de los Abrazos, Eduardo Galeano says that “the system that does not feed or love, condemns many to hunger for bread and many more to hunger for hugs.” It’s said that the average embrace last only three seconds, but that at least twenty seconds is required in order to activate a hug's medical healing properties. The healing process always begins with a touch and embrace. Hugs instantly boost oxytocin levels, which heal feelings of loneliness, isolation, and anger. Holding a hug for an extended time lifts serotonin levels, elevating mood. Hugs strengthen the immune system. The gentle pressure on the sternum and the emotional charge this creates activates the solar plexus chakra. This stimulates the thymus gland, which regulates and balances the body's production of white blood cells. Hugging relaxes muscles. Hugs release tension in the body. Hugs can take away pain; they soothe aches by increasing circulation into the soft tissues. Hugs balance the nervous system. Sensations are created on the skin which stimulates nerve endings. Hugs are much like meditation and laughter; they teach us to let go and be present in the moment. They encourage us to flow with the energy of life. Hugs encourage empathy and understanding. Malcolm X pointed out that "If a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy." Hugs connect us to our ability to not only self love but also teach us on how love, when it is genuine, flows both ways. In a capitalist society, we are taught to love objects/products/merchandise/capital/things more than each other, but love and solidarity is a revolutionary act and only if we are together and taking care of each other, can we smash capitalism. The most revolutionary things we can do within an oppressive, racist, sexist, traumatizing, white supremacist society that hates and hurts and starves us and teaches us to hate each other, is to love and heal and feed and embrace the long walk toward freedom... together.. arm in arm..
arm in arm with arms,