As I approach Valentine’s day, The first thing I think about is getting a Valentine card for my husband. This brings to mind feelings of love and romance.

The next people on my Valentine’s day list are my children and grand children.  The love I feel for them is different from what I experience with my husband. It lacks the excitement in the here and now, but has a steady connection based on mothering and ironclad connection.

Love has so many forms. It can be unconditional love without considering your own needs. It can be felt when one is attracted  physically to another; having nothing related to it except chemistry. It can be based on loving compassion for a stranger, or expand to the world as exemplified by Mother Theresea and the Dalai Lama. The possible combinations of different types of love are extensive.

Valentine’s day may act as a stimulus to ponder many of life’s problems that are related to love.  Many people have come to see me  wondering if they are really “in love”, If they are loved by another, or if they should forgive a loved one for some past hurt. Many are searching for love.

I remember the case of a man who came to therapy. I shall call him Craig. When I asked Craig what his goals in therapy were, He stated: “I want to learn to be human.” When questioned further about what this meant, he said he did not know how to love.  Therapy helped him attain that goal. Love is what humanizes the world. Without love, the world would be a dreary place.  Understanding our relationship to love is one of the greatest challenges in our lives.

It has been said that there are really only 2 major emotions, love and fear. As well as ‘Love Makes the World Go Around”. My Book discusses the concept of unconditional love that most mothers experience instinctually after the birth of their child.

It is the task for you to decide if you wish to allow yourself to love and how far to expand it. Part of this challenge is to find out if what you think is love is really love.