As I lay in bed this morning, awake a little earlier than I would have liked, a piece of the jigsaw puzzle of my life slotted so easily into place, that I wondered why I hadn’t found it long before. The truth is, that piece of the jigsaw has always been lying there, next to others and I had picked it up and tried to place it in the jigsaw many times before, but it hadn’t quite fitted and so I’d laid it back down to the side. This morning I picked it up and it was the final piece. It was the piece that completed the puzzle. On this piece the word that is written is: affection.
Affection can mean many things. It can be deeply needed and unwanted. It can be between lovers and family and four legged friends. Humans need affection and depending on who or what this affection is between, it can be shown in a multitude of ways. Above all, affection makes us feel secure and wanted.
‘Secure’ and ‘wanted’ – the power of these words is the crux of my missing jigsaw piece. You see, you can have a relationship with someone or something that looks as if it functions. It can even feel as if it functions pretty well. Yet, without that missing jigsaw piece that has the word: affection on it, it is, ‘functional’ and for me, this is a word that lacks power. A lack of affection makes us unhappy, stressed and lonely. Yes, we can still function. To others looking in our lives look good, because we are functioning. We are getting on, succeeding, reproducing, aspiring. We are achieving all these things and more – so why don’t we feel happy? How can we possibly not feel ecstatically fulfilled? What the hell is wrong with us?
What the hell is wrong with me? I asked myself. Over and over again. I searched for the answer. I am a kind and thoughtful and intelligent person, I told myself, over and over again. Why can’t I find the answer? Why can’t I complete this puzzle.
Then this morning, there it was. So now it is complete. That final piece of my jigsaw is so powerful, yet I had passed it over. I had picked it up and turned it around with my finger tips many times. I had even tried to fit it in the hole, but I had underestimated its power. I had underestimated just how important affection is. So important that a lack of it can undermine almost everything you have built up in your life. Showing affection is essential. I know that now. I want you to know it too.
It isn’t just important, it is essential.