A few decades ago, one of the psychoanalysts who still took spirituality seriously, Carl Gustav Jung, said this sentence:
“Know all the theories. Master all the techniques. But when you touch a human soul, it’s just another human soul.”
Since Jung’s death, the concept of soul has been rejected by most psychologists and psychoanalysts as something necessary to process and study the human mind. However, beyond psychology, there are ideas deeply rooted in popular culture which, linked to spirituality rather than scientific experiences and studies, offer proposals for how we can approach human relationships, l affection and, in general, well-being.
In Latin America, more precisely, there is a very old word, of Native American origin, which is used to describe an action, but also a way of life that many people have adopted. This word is apapachar, which means something like “to kiss with the soul”.
A hug is more than a hug
The word “apapachar” originally originated as part of the Nahuatl language, a language over a thousand years old, although at first it was something different and its pronunciation was more like “papatzoa”. Today the term apapachar is used in countries like Mexico or Colombia with the meaning of “to give affection”But it is also common to give it a much deeper and more spiritual reading.
That way an apapacho can be a hug, however also any action with which one can interpret that a soul undresses in front of another to offer him affection or a very intimate type of support, not necessarily related to sexuality. Apapachar thus transforms into the concept of caressing with one’s own mind, offering a display of love that is not dependent on physical limitations that may separate two or more people or conventions on how to express affect.
Long before the birth of the entertainment culture in which the image is everything, there was already in Latin America the idea that samples of love cannot be totally constrained by social norms. This is why apapachar has come to mean an emotional exchange that escapes labels and goes beyond achieving a simple hug.
Everything is born with caresses
Interestingly, in an apapachar origin this could be translated as “graze with affection,” a definition that has to do with a physical task. Nevertheless, from this concept, the idea emerged apapacho as a caress made with the soul, something totally subjective, interpretable and, above all, intimate. But the relationship between spiritual caresses and the act of kneading is no mere coincidence..
Today, we know that in our closest animal relatives, such as large primates, almost all of the emotional burden of transmitting affection results in petting, cuddling and, in general, actions related to the affection. to touch. Most primates rarely look each other in the eye, even in maternal-filial relationships. for that we know that it is very likely that the affective language of our ancestors has been, for hundreds of thousands of years, the hug, the kiss, the caress.
But if we look beyond these actions, we will see that what is expressed in them is the desire to show ourselves as we are and to give the opportunity to another person to do the same freely, without fear of doing the same. to be judged. The word apapachar captures this idea so that we can apply it to our daily life and not lose sight of the importance of getting rid of unfounded insecurities, of not missing the opportunity to build personal relationships based on l authenticity and to enjoy the affection of people who love us without the banalities of everyday life separating us.
Apapachar is a vital principle
Of course, the term apapachar does not give us new knowledge about how we work, nurture, or feel. It exists long before the emergence of psychology and neuroscience, and it has nothing to do with groundbreaking scientific discoveries that will occupy the covers of the TV news. This is where its value lies. As with the Hoponopono concept, it is part of a practically timeless idea, which has always accompanied us: There is no excuse not to undress emotionally with the people we really care about.
Apapachar is, in short, an idea so simple that it is today transgressive. That is why it is highly regarded by people who love the strength of honest simplicity and naturalness above the artificial. Long live the apapachos!