“I define love thus: The will to extend one’s self for the purpose of nurturing one’s own or another’s spiritual growth.”

(M. Scott Peck, The Road Less Traveled)

I love this definition of love. I love it because it embodies the fact that love is an action. I love it because it involves loving myself and others. And I love it because it so well describes how I prefer to love.

The way I see it, I am who I am today because of love.

I’ve been married to my favorite person in the world for over 17 years because we love each other well and because we never give up on loving each other a little bit better.

We have 6 children because of love. 4 we chose the traditional way—where you decide to try and get pregnant and then you have a baby—and each was made out of love. And 2 we adopted when my sister and brother-in-law died, but it was love that helped us take them in and make them our own. Tough as it is, I do love being a mom. It’s my favorite job in the world, even if I complain and get too tired or cranky or worn out. It amazes me what we mothers can do out of love. In fact, I think there’s nothing more amazing to me than a mother’s love.

My love of learning led me to become a Clinical Psychologist, and I especially love that everything I learn about psychology applies directly to my life and can be used to help me become more loving. I specialize in Women’s Mental Health because I love women; sure we can be emotionally complex, but I love that about us and I especially love how fully we women love others.

I’m an expert in Pregnancy and Postpartum Depression (PPD) because I’ve been through PPD four times and I love helping other mothers see that they’re not alone, it’s not their fault, and they will be well. My expertise in parenting and grief & loss are the result of the many hard times I have faced throughout my life and those I face daily as a mom of 6. But I love that I can use my personal trials and experiences to help myself and others “overcome, become, and flourish” (that’s my tagline) in love!

There are plenty of other parts of me that have developed out of love—a love of creating music, a love of speaking and teaching others, a love of writing, and a deep and abiding love for my fellow man and woman, and especially for my fellow mothers.

So my Valentine’s Day wish for you is this: that you will be less concerned about defining love and more focused on letting love define you. May love help you become who you are destined to be, and may you be willing to “extend” yourself and “nurture” your own and others’ “spiritual growth.” After all, that’s what love is all about.

By.  Dr. Christina G. Hibbert All Rights Reserved 2013