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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.

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28 thoughts on “Affection”

    1. I think for most of us it’s work in progress, but as long as it’s always, ‘in progress’. Thank you for your comments.

  1. Yes yes, this resonated totally with me. So many good things, but if a partner, family member or even your child is cold or unaffectionate suddenly for any reason, it hits you and you have this horrid feeling of loneliness. Affection is very very important … Virginia Satir once said “We need four hugs a day for survival. We need eight hugs a day for maintenance. We need twelve hugs a day for growth.” #bigpinklink

  2. We were talking about affection on the weekend, I was away with a group of friends and we got talking about how some people really close up when you go to be affectionate with them. Some people just don’t enjoy affection, I am not sure why some do and some don’t? Some times is obvious, why other times a puzzle? My sister for example was raised just like me, yet is much less affectionate than me. Aspen and Adam are highly affectionate, yet April is only affectionate on her own terms. Both hubby and I adore affection. I think it is needed to be truly happy, but I guess we need different does’s of affection. Your posts always make me think #mg

    1. What you say is very true. I do think that affection is the bedrock of a partnership, even if in other areas of life someone doesn’t feel the need for it so much. Thank you so much, as always, for your comments.

  3. You have hit the nail on the head. Affection is so crucial. My husband is pretty rubbish at it and I think a lot of it has to do with being sent to boarding school at 7. He approaches relationships of all kinds in a very functional way. I shower my kids with affection, I want them to know how to show people they love them instinctively without thinking about it and that for me is the crucial thing. In the meantime the husband is showing promise! #bigpinklink

    1. I love your comment about instinct – that sums it up for me. Definitely keep working on your husband 🙂 Thank you for all your comments.

  4. I have never thought about affection much until I read your post and….I think you’re absolutely right. We crave affection and we need affection – and often, others rely on us to give affection as well. It is truly a key to the same questions I ask myself as well – why do I sometimes feel that something is missing? And I do think it is affection – give more and receive more. Thanks for sharing with #bigpinklink

    1. It’s interesting how it can get overlooked as something quite trivial, yet its effects are so far-reaching. Thank you for all your thoughtful comments.

  5. I love that you’ve mentioned how showing affection is important. There are so many times when I’ve picked up my phone and typed out a praise or a thank you note and hit the ‘send’ button before the moment is gone. I’m sure a lot of us think about it but forget to let the person know.

    On a completely different note, I really love your ‘Mad House Mum’ logo! #mg

    1. That’s such a good point you make about giving affection before the moment passes. The moment can so easily pass and yet taking the time to show that affection can mean the world to that person. Thank you for your comment on the logo – I’ve passed it on to the designer (my partner :))

  6. I totally agree. By nature, we are affectionate creatures and I think affection goes a long way to making us feel happy and secure in our relationships.
    Thanks for linking up to #AnythingGoes 🙂

  7. I love this post, and I completely agree that affection is such a powerful thing. Slightly off topic, but my little dog has been petrified of the fireworks over the weekend. A bit of extra affection from the whole family seems to have him much more secure and happy, despite the noisy rockets going off. Thank you for sharing with the #DreamTeam x

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