There might be a thin line between love and hate, but there’s an even thinner line between hugging and choking. Many of us don’t realize how the perfect mix of passion, force, and intensity can turn a loving hug into a harmful choke.
A hug is a warm and comfortable embrace that shows endearment towards another person. If you hug too tight then you seem awkward, un-genuine, and fake. If you don’t hug tight enough then you seem aloof, uppity, and really fake. Only heartfelt sincerity can muster the perfect hug. We do it all the time without thinking about it.
Now think about a choke. It cuts off a person’s air supply by preventing them from breathing. A choke is stifling, aggressive, and physically violent. The perfect choke is all about extreme pressure and strength. We certainly don’t choke people all the time. Or, do we?
We don’t realize it, but hugging and choking are different degrees of the same emotion. The line between love and hate is not thin. There is actually no line at all. The things we love and hate are often defined and juxtaposed by each other.
We love a person not only because they have qualities that we admire, but also because they are missing qualities we detest. We love our job because it allows us to use the skills we naturally enjoy instead of forcing us to perform tasks we hate. We love our celebrities because they embody the qualities we admire and because they seem not to possess the faults we look down upon.
Anything that you love can also be defined and understood by what you hate. This is how we unknowingly end up choking or hurting our loved ones.
We love something so much that we hate the idea of living without it. That something can be a parent, mate, idol, friend, relationship, or even family member. Whatever it may be- we hold on tight and never let go. We shower it with love, attention, and support. Unfortunately, we love to the point where the “thing” we love actually loses its identity and becomes an object of our desire. We don’t allow it to grow or manifest its own presence. Instead, we choke it with our wants, our hopes, and our own desires. We project and mold it into what we want. Our passion turns into intensity and our intensity turns into force. Let the choking begin.
We can’t stand the thought of our loving boyfriend/girlfriend leaving us. So we strain and put a chokehold on their environment. Their growth might make you insecure as they mingle with more intelligent people. Their attractiveness might intimidate you when they start to make friends with the opposite sex. Their finances might scare you because you know more money means more options and possibly more opportunities to see other people.
Notice the word “might” in each previously mentioned scenario. These circumstances may never come to fruition- but you make a preemptive strike to end any chance of them coming true. So, you monopolize your mate’s time, attention, and thoughts. You have to know where they are, who they’re with, what they’re talking about, and what they’re thinking every second of the day. You’re cutting off your mate’s air supply with your stifling and aggressive ways. They might leave you, but not because of what “might” have occurred. It’s because of the choking that did occur.
The same happens with family. There is nothing wrong with loving your parents or being very close to them. However, there is a problem when you can’t let go. Missing your parents and hijacking their time are two different things. A child loves their parents because they depend on them for clothes, food, shelter, and emotional nourishment. Even though a child’s love for their parents can be very sincere, it is still based on need.
An adult who loves their parents is different. Of course adults will need emotional support, love, and occasional time from their parents. But, the adult’s love for their parents isn’t based on need but respect. The adult respects what it means to have kids, maintain a career, build a marriage, and still keep your sanity. The adult who hugs their parents would never hamper or choke their parents with demands for time or attention. Your parents have raised you. Allow them to become the people they were before you came into the picture. It is one thing to be close to your parents, but it is another thing to never let them go. People who hug are always able to let go. People who choke are always holding on.
Again, it doesn’t matter what you’re choking because you no longer see the object or person as a separate entity. They just become an extension of your wants and desires.
Maybe the solution is for people to love deeply, but from a small distance. Give your loved ones room to grow, mature, change, and even mess up. They should give you the same freedom in return. Learn how to love and properly hug others without using too much force. If you don’t- then the only person you’ll end up choking is yourself.