A sense of his or her own worth is no doubt the greatest gift we can offer another, the greatest contribution we can make to any life. We can give this gift and make this contribution only through love. However, it is essential that our love be liberating, not possessive. We must at all times give those we love the freedom to be themselves. Love affirms the other as "other". It does not possess and manipulate another as "mine". To love is to liberate. Love and friendship must empower those we love to become their best selves according to their own lights and visions. This means that wanting what is best for you and trying to be what you need me to be can be done only in a way that preserves your freedom to have your own feelings, think your own thoughts and make your own decisions . If your personhood is as dear to me as my own, which is the implication of love, I must respect it carefully and sensitively. When I affirm you, my affirmation is based on your unconditional value as a unique, unrepeatable and even sacred mystery of humanity. In evaluating my love for you, I must then address myself to the question of whether my love is in fact possessive or manipulative or really affirming and freeing. It will help, in this evaluation, to ask myself these questions; Is it more important to me that you be pleased with yourself or that I be pleased with you? Is it more important that you attain the goals you have set for yourself, or that you attain the goals I want for you?