March 23


Today's Quotation:

Do not be afraid of showing your affection.  Be warm and tender, thoughtful and affectionate.  People are more helped by sympathy, than by service; love is more than money, and a kind word will give more pleasure than a present.

John Lubbock

Today's Meditation:

One of the tendencies of the Adult Child of an Alcoholic is to avoid showing affection.  After all, if you don't show affection, you'll never be rejected, right?  At least, that's the subconscious logic going on in the mind of the person.  I can vouch for this phenomenon because it has affected me all my life, and though I am getting better at it, I'm pretty sure it will be with me until the day I die.  Right now I'm a bit better at it than most people I know, but I still hold back in many situations.

The basic thought that allows me to share my affection much more readily than I used to be able to is the thought that other people need to see it, feel it, and hear it.  I know that when people have been affectionate towards me, it was miraculous in a way, and it made me feel wonderful.  So why would I think that other people wouldn't feel that way when I showed them my affection (within appropriate boundaries, of course)?

I try to show affection in the simplest of ways.  When I ask how someone is, I truly listen to the answer and I make eye contact while they're speaking, and then I respond to what they say.  I thank people for things they've done for me, and I tell them that I appreciate their input because it helps me a lot.  If someone is very important to other people, I tell them that.  I know that many people are uncomfortable with others showing them affection, so I try to stay within limits that they're comfortable with.  At home, I hug my wife and my step-kids, and I try to encourage them and compliment them in valid ways.  I try to write letters to friends, even quick notes, though I'm getting worse at that as time goes on.

But if I'm "warm and tender, thoughtful and affectionate," I imagine that the contribution that I make to the lives of the people I affect in life will be significant and positive, and that's pretty much all I can ask for from myself, isn't it?  And it's a nice little gift that definitely does beat money or a present.

Questions to ponder:

1.  Why might we be afraid to show our affection?

2.  If someone rejects our affection or mocks us for it, is that a reflection of us or of the other person?

3.  What would a world without affection and thoughtfulness be like?

For further thought:

It is not written, blessed are they that feedeth the poor, but they that considereth the poor.  A little thought and a little kindness are often worth more than a great deal of money.

John Ruskin



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