Love As Nourishment

Valentine’s Day is the designated holiday for expressing our love to those in our life who provide us with the nourishment of love. We don’t often think of love as a nutrient, but indeed it is.

Freud made a statement about the power of love to create in us happiness, joy, hope and well being when. He said: “We are never so hopelessly unhappy as when we lose love.”

As a physician who saw the ravages of lost love, Freud knew something from his experience about the human condition – something we often forget. Those who love us and those we love fulfill our basic human need to be known, valued and wanted by those we care about and seek out in our lives.

As an older adult who, like Freud, has seen the ravages of loves loss, I have come to appreciate and cherish those in my life who fulfill my need to be valued and wanted – my need to be loved.

It is important for each of us to remember that no one is perfect and that if we expect perfection in love we will surely be disappointed. One of the gifts of age and experience is the relief of realizing that each act of love we give from our imperfect self to another and the love given to us by imperfect others, is the most important wealth we possess.

At the end of the day, when all else is stilled and the distractions of work, ambition, success and achievement are put aside, it is those we “go home to” and the nourishment they provide us that is our real treasure.

HAPPY VALENTINES DAY to all of us – and may we take the time to appreciate how profound a blessing the gift of love is in our lives.

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