During the month of February there is a special focus on love thanks to Valentine’s Day. I am totally onboard with spreading love to those who are in my life and to others whom I may meet! The more people I can reach the better, because giving love is truly what I live to do. The love I share is unconditional, us dogs are truly one of the best examples of loving this way. It makes no difference to me if my humans are tired and may not feel like playing, my love for them remains the same. This also works in the reverse. When I’ve chewed up another shoe insole my momma still loves me, even as she cringes. Oops! My momma says my unconditional love is an inspiration to her with her own connections. The impact of giving and receiving unconditional love is powerful in our lives. But what do you think it really means to love unconditionally?

If you look at the meaning of unconditional you will find: not limited to any conditions. We can also find one definition of love to be: to hold dear or to cherish. What a wonder it is when we use those two words together, to hold dear or to cherish without being limited to any conditions. How often can we say we experience this type of love, whether it be to give or to receive it? Experiencing love where we care for someone without expectation of anything in return, without any conditions in place? Are we able to open our hearts for connection, without an assurance that it will be reciprocated? These are not always easy things to do, especially if we are intent on guarding our hearts from the possibility of rejection. Allowing yourself to be vulnerable, to take the risk of love possibly not being returned, is just that – a risk. But the reward for this risk can be great.

I can tell my love enriches my family’s lives and I know I share that love with others I meet. When we are out for a walk and someone stops us for a moment, I can’t help but give a little kiss. I know my love has been felt when that person’s eyes light up. Just showing a small gesture, a bit of love, can impact someone in such a positive way. Now, I am not suggesting that you use my method! How about holding a door open for someone instead of just going through? Making eye contact with a smile for just a brief flash as you walk by a person. Or simply noticing something about someone and giving them a compliment. Who couldn’t benefit from a caring spirit and an openness to give love, especially in our world today. We may never realize how much of an impact we have made, even with a small act.

With love at the top of our minds it may feel especially easy to express it right now. Let’s not forget to share love all year long to those in our lives and those we may encounter. We can agree that it is easier to do this when we know the love will be returned, but I challenge you to take the risk. Be vulnerable and open your heart, even when there isn’t a guarantee of that love being returned. I believe that taking the chance to love and to be loved, is a risk worth taking.

Come walk with me, if you’d like.