Back in 1976, my family was living in Pakistan, where I was conceived. My dad had borrowed just enough money to fly himself to Canada. It took him four years before he could save up the money to fly my mom and my five siblings to Canada as well. So, I had absolutely no communication with my dad until I came to Canada at the age of four.

Once in Canada, both my parents worked full-time to create a lifestyle for us. All my time was therefore spent in school, and at baby-sitters. And it was at my baby-sitters where I had my first sexual encounter. At the age of 7, you can imagine that love, affection, and intimacy were completely lacking -- not to mention consent.

I remember at the age of fifteen when I went to a Christian youth parliament. It was an exciting experience! Everyone was caring, loving, and compassionate. It was during this weekend where I got my first real hug. Scared and confused by the initial sensations, I soon realized that hugging was something I enjoyed and craved. Lucky for me, everyone at this youth parliament was into hugging, so I took complete advantage. :)

I remember at the age of twenty, listening to a motivational speaker on a cassette tape. In that audio, the speaker spoke directly to me and said, "I love you." Wow. It felt really weird because that was the first time I had noticed someone telling me that they loved me. My emotions were going up and down like a roller-coaster, feeling great about the love, and then feeling like crap knowing that it took twenty years for someone to say that to me.

In some ways, I hated my life. I wanted to be cared for... I needed to be hugged... My biggest wish was to be loved... And I didn't see any of that happening.

Being upset about the lack of love in my life was not helping. Getting angry at my circumstances was not making a difference. Holding resentment towards others would never bring more love into my life.

I started accepting myself for who I was. I began to treat myself in an honorable way. As human beings we all make mistakes, even when doing our best to succeed. So, I forgave myself and others for mistakes of the past, and conceived of a compelling future I would live into.

I learned that when love is truly given, it is unconditional. Love is not reciprocated, love is joyously generated. So I began to give more love to others. As we generate and give love freely to others, we create the energy within us that attracts more love into our lives.

In my life today, I hug all my friends, my business associates, and many acquaintances. A day where I don't say "I love you" is rare. It's a way to be that feels great. If you love yourself, if you love other people, you cannot help but be in a world surrounded by love.

Author's Bio: 

Danish Ahmed is turning heads in the personal-growth movement by bringing the education of the industry down-to-Earth -- by teaching from our popular culture, like television, movies, music, and other current day media.

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