I almost wasn’t going to write a post today, particularly with it being Valentine’s Day. There’s already way too many posts out there on love, self-love, love love…it’s a little overwhelming.

However, I wanted to share a little something that’s been on my mind this morning: Stop judging. Stop placing conditions on the people you care about and stop placing conditions on yourself. True love isn’t about what you can get from another person; it isn’t about what they can do for you or even how they make you feel. True love is about giving away love freely, because it was never yours to keep. True love knows no judgment or conditions. It is given away safe in the knowledge that it doesn’t matter how it is received.

In counselling, there is a concept known as unconditional positive regard. It’s the idea that, as a counsellor, we see our clients as whole and good, regardless of what they’re going through or how they behave. We suspend our judgment and look past any ‘bad’ stuff to see the innate goodness in them. When people have someone who truly sees them as a good, whole person; someone who’s OK, I swear to God, miracles happen. They start to believe in themselves, they make changes, their self-esteem grows and their relationships improve.

Romantic love is the most wonderful thing, but for those of us not ‘in love’ today, and even for those of you who are, take some time to suspend your judgment of others today, and instead look for the good in someone, even if you almost have to pretend to see that tiny flicker of light inside them. You may be the first person in a long time to give them that hope in themselves.