Hugs – The beauty and the shame

He bounds energetically toward me, tail wagging, unable to contain his excitement. As I squat down to welcome him he hurls himself onto my lap, pushing his head into me; a ball of enthusiastic furry need for contact, love and attention.

‘Do you think badly of the dog for his need for attention and hugs?’ I was poignantly asked by a very dear friend when I was struggling with my shame for my own need for hugs and attention. Two years on I still feel the pangs of shame around my seemingly endless need for attention and hugs.

Actually I’m back at the place where I first met this particular dog. I’m now looking after the dog and her friend, now sadly cooped up in a concrete pen, little ‘Lady’ is more desperate than ever for hugs and attention. And ‘no’  I do not think badly of her, not at all, in fact the opposite, I see her need, her pain and her loneliness and want nothing more than to give her what she needs. Sadly I cannot provide all the hugs she needs to make it ok for her. Sadly a similar compassion for my own need for hugs is not yet embedded in my heart. For now I remind myself of the dog to understand myself better, I will recall the enthusiastic dog until I can integrate my compassion for the dog to a similar compassion for myself.

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