We all remember the kisses and hugs (Xs and Os) we were required, as children, to dispense at an adult’s command. Some of us were aware of our own power even then. We refused to squander our affection, reserving it for those we really cared about, or whom we thought we could not survive without. We demanded a choice.
Or, perhaps, we were not as demonstrative as some of our contemporaries, or felt shy around others. The look or smell of another might be interpreted as threatening to a child. Why would we want to kiss something that was threatening us, or throw our arms around it?
However you experienced love in your life, I hope you came to a place of loving yourself. I completely understand that for many of us, loving our own self proved exceedingly difficult. It still may elude us. The reasons are legion: it is not difficult to find excuses, people to blame, circumstances to curse, hurts and grievances to nurse.
Eventually, or suddenly, the realization dawns that self love is the way to freedom. Everything and anything barring access to it must be extracted, expunged, expelled.
Or, we merely reside in a very ordinary, mundane place of obedience and obligation, following an agenda that did not originate with ourselves. Because to truly know what we want and need, we have to love ourselves.
So, give yourself the hugs and kisses you so deeply desire.