Something Incredible Happened Two Nights Ago
I got a text message from a friend. It said... "Kristin, I need to know how to give a Blessing."
Her husband’s birthday dinner was the next evening. My chest tightened and my breathing became labored. Silly, I know, but I immediately got nervous because I had never talked anyone through the entire process of how to give a Blessing.
With shaking fingers I replied, "When can we talk?"
I shared with her the elements of the Blessing. I wanted her to understand what the Blessing is, but also feel ok about making it her own. Having to walk her through this helped me to see that I can lay it out simply for people. There is so much history in the original Blessing dating back to Biblical times, and perhaps one day we’ll dive into that, but right now you need to know how the Blessing can be used in your life. So that’s where we’ll begin.
There are five key elements of a Blessing. I will share the first one with you today.
Meaningful touch is the first component of the Blessing. It communicates warmth, acceptance and love. For some families, touch is easy and normal. Hugs are given often and freely. But in some homes, touch does not come naturally. Love is there, yes, but if a hug is even given, it may be a side hug that’s fast and awkward. Some of you reading may have even experienced a complete lack of meaningful touch from your parents, or worse, abuse. Our hands are very powerful.
I will share a personal story with you about meaningful touch.
When I had my first son, I wasn’t the mom that wanted to hold her baby all day. I was happy to let someone else hold him. Paul held him a lot more than I did. When he got a few months older, I’d have him on my hip for a brief second and he’d cry to get down... even though he couldn’t walk or crawl or go anywhere! He didn’t want to be held, he didn’t want to be rocked... by me anyway. I realized a hard truth one night... it was me. He could feel my tension when we were close. I had made him uncomfortable being touched.
I had to change this. I began trying to force myself to rub his belly for even just a second. I intentionally would pick him up and snuggle with him for a brief minute. I started simply kissing his cheek. You may think this is sounds completely crazy that I had to teach myself to share meaningful touches with my baby, but it’s true. I think what is more common is that once a child gets older, touch becomes harder. My case is extreme, but our oldest son is now 10 years old and he knows to watch out or mom is going to attack with hugs and kisses and embarrass the snot out of him!
Laying your hand on someone meaningfully may or may not be easy for you. I’m not here to tell you giving a Blessing will be easy. But it’s essential.
Before my friend gave the Blessing to her husband, she texted me. She was scared of knowing what to say; she was worried how her family would respond; and she was afraid everyone in the room would be uncomfortable. All very valid. But she did it anyway. I am so incredibly proud of her. Generations of her family will be affected by her bravery last night. Her husband is now Blessed.
She was the first to start a new tradition… and now who will be the second? Is it you?