The most romantic day of the year is here. Whether you are alone or all loved up, Valentine’s Day is all about it.

I have been a cynic when it comes to this Hallmark holiday. This year I am looking at it through a different lens – part of my effort to be less judgmental and to be a better person. When I hear people making plans for a special experience with their lover, I think it’s nice. I am wishing for a surprise on Monday. What is wrong with wanting a bit of romance? Dr. Annie K. is getting sentimental in her old age…

I am fortunate to have loved fervently in this lifetime. And just when I thought I had experienced every possible form of love, I had a grandson.

What is love?

Ask a million people, get a million answers.

According to my muse, love is simply about being seen. Humans have a desire to be heard, acknowledged, and to matter to someone else. While we may love ourselves, there is an innate yearning to be cherished by another.

Love for a romantic partner, friend, family member or pet is a force which connects us to our base instincts. Bonding grants us access to hidden, mystical parts of ourselves. Did we ever believe we could love a person or a furry animal so much?

To experience true non-ego love, one’s heart must be open, even a crack, exposed to vulnerability  – without judgement, fear, or expectation.  Throw in a pinch of abandon and miracles can happen.  Love is so capricious it may be hard to keep track of your “type.” You may be surprised who or what you end up loving. The most inexplicable unions can make the best lovers.

Love can elicit the greatest rapture on earth, coax us to alter our entire life course, and can add years to our lifespan. On the other hand, it can give rise to huge mistakes, can fade for no apparent reason, and can make us suffer to the depths of grief. How is it possible to adore someone only to see that person become “somebody that I used to know?”

That is the way it goes. Those brave enough to fall in love are aware of the risks. Yet we do it again and again and again. Because when it is good, there is no rival on the face of the earth. And every once in awhile you get lucky and it lasts a lifetime.

Of course nothing can replace love and respect every day of the year, alone time and great sex. But on February 14th, giving or receiving a love token feels pretty fabulous.

Here’s to love!