Ever find yourself struggling with… yourself?

Maybe it’s your mood, your results, or even a physical pain. Whatever it is, it’s annoying and you want it to go away, or to change in some way.

Walking around my absolute favorite small town, Lewes, Delaware, I found myself struggling with what almost felt like mini panic attacks. Waves of anxious energy flooded my body every time my brain focused on a situation that was challenging me.

I was by myself and I wasn’t sure what to do.  So I asked myself—What do you need right now?

The answer was clear—a hug. But I didn’t know anyone in Lewes, it was dark out, and I didn’t know who (or how) to ask for a hug.

Just then, a man and woman walked past me and I thought, I could ask her, but quickly dismissed it, fearful I might frighten them with such a ridiculous request from a stranger in the dark.

I kept walking.

And then an idea popped out into my mind and I walked into the nearest restaurant, which happened to be busy with a crowd of children and a couple of adults waiting to be seated.

“I have a bit of a strange request,” I said to the host.

“Okay,” he said.

“I have a five hug challenge. I need five hugs in the next five minutes. Can you help me out?”

“A five what challenge?”

“Hug,” I repeated, “Will you hook me up with a hug?”

Not only did he hug me, but within seconds I had a line of children waiting to hug me, along with their parents. It felt so good that I continued the challenge for the next fifteen minutes, securing at least fifteen hugs.

The head chef at Touch of Italy was the last one I hugged that evening, and he hooked me up with a cookie too! Not too bad for a little game that came to me when I asked myself this simple question: What do I need right now?

Your answers may not seem possible, or even safe, and yet your willingness to play the game could quite possibly net you the solutions you’re looking for—I know it did for me.

A giant smile graced my face as I took that cookie back to the first gentleman who graciously gave me my first hug. I walked home that night feeling a sense of peace and gratitude in my heart.

When you find yourself challenged with whatever life tosses your way, try asking yourself, What do I need right now? And then, listen closely, summon the courage, and take the action.

Here’s to your greatness,

Misti Burmeister