There are numerous ways that healers and miracle workers claim to transform the health and lives of their clients. But we almost never hear about the simple, yet profound, effects of loving human affection. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard from clients or friends or even strangers who have told me how an act of affection from me to them meant so much to them and gave them extra hope. It may have been by paying a bill for them or cuddling them while rocking them gently back and forth or taking an extra moment to look them in the eye while telling them everything is going to be all right or any other number of affectionate acts.

An Underrated Method of Healing

Affection is possibly the most underrated method of healing. And yet it takes no official or technical training and is as natural as creation itself. The form that affection can take (which isn’t always with physical contact) can vary from person to person and moment to moment. This ultimately depends on the inspiration that comes to us and the needs of the person before us. The variety includes a hug, a kiss, a hand on the shoulder or heart, handing someone a tissue when they are crying, a smile, words of encouragement, a caress or any other act that helps a person to feel valuable. And although the forms of authentic affection vary greatly, the inspiration and intention behind it is always the same: a symbolic statement or gesture of unconditional love. In fact, it is actually the unconditional love behind the gesture that does the healing and not the act of affection itself.

Behind all of our human problems lies the belief that we are separate from the love, peace, and joy of God. As a result, we feel a core level of angst, emptiness, and low self-worth. But when we see our brothers and sisters suffering and then choose to push through the crowd of those who choose to let them remain in such pain and limited beliefs about themselves, we demonstrate a higher belief that they are worthy of love and care. We can demonstrate this with some appropriate form of affection, which, in turn, shatters the limitations that once kept them bound. Our act of love gives them an opportunity to reprogram the belief in themselves that they are unloved and unlovable and therefore undeserving of anyone’s care. Our random act of kindness proves that they are indeed valuable. Our love-based, spiritual affection is an opportunity for our brother or sister to accept within themselves a new level of love and self-worth.

The Risks of Giving Affection

Nevertheless, there are a few possible risks. First, when deciding how much affection to give or receive and in what form, we must always ask ourselves if our intentions are based on unconditional love. Second, the giver, or initiator, of affection needs to keep their own needs and unhealed issues out of the picture—often more easily said than done. And third, when expressing affection to someone, we must remain forever aware that it can sometimes cause more harm than good—even when our intentions are righteous. This unfortunate possibility can occur if the recipient interprets (or confuses) our affection as either a romantic statement or a replay of some former trauma that, in fact, lacked love-based affection. In either case, the giver of affection might suddenly become a negative image to the recipient. One of the best securities against any of these hazards is to remind ourselves of our original inspired intentions and also to practice the art of clearly communicating these intentions. Then, and only then, can we be certain that we are acting as a messenger of love and value to those in need of a reminder.

Given the potential risks, most people choose not to bother helping others, trying to remain safe themselves. But if we stand in the light of love, can’t we all learn to muster up the courage to help our brothers and sisters despite the potential risks? Must we all be like those folks who shut their doors and windows when they hear a person in the street crying for help? Remember the guy who saw a popular actress being attacked in the streets of Los Angeles. She was stabbed multiple times but nobody did anything to help her. Finally, one guy set aside his own fears and thoughts of himself and restrained her assailant, thus saving her life. Of course, one out of every so many people whom you offer to help will decline your offer or even accuse you of a wrong-doing, but isn’t it worth the risk given the number of people whose lives you may change forever?

Giving Thanks for Unconditional Love and Affection

Take a moment as you read this and mentally give thanks to anyone who has ever gifted you with an unconditional expression of love and affection. If you feel you have not yet manifested such a thing, then ask someone for it! Next, ask yourself if you have ever done such a deed for others. If not, start now. If so, then take a moment to soak up the gratitude that emanates from that person’s soul. You can be certain that this gratitude comes to you regularly but awaits your acceptance of it. Lastly, practice learning to give and receive not only more random acts of kindness but also acts of affection. There’s nothing like it to soothe the aches of your own body and soul.