* Romantic love
Seeking the ideal partner can sometimes be the main focus in life. After falling in love, continuing to care for the loved one provides a major life purpose.
Sadly, romantic love can blossom and then fade. The loss of a partner can often cause a general lack of purpose in living, because it seems to remove the possibility of ever again enjoying life to the full.
Being in a loving relationship is not absolutely essential to a purposeful life. It is an important part of living, but should not be thought of as the sole purpose.
* Parental Love
Most parents find a life purpose in loving, caring and providing for their own children. It is important for parents to know that as their children grow up they must be allowed to seek and find a life purpose of their own. A child should not be forced or persuaded into a role desired by the parents.
Parental love is important, but it only provides real life purpose when children are still young and dependent. Decades of devotion by a parent can end in loss of purpose when the children are grown up and have left home.
* Love of Friends
Love of friends is important in life, but so are new friendships. It is important that lifelong friendships do not become exclusive. Close friendship should never prevent anyone from meeting and getting to know new people, developing new friendships, and being able to let go when old friends move on.
Having the love of good friends can feel very supportive and it is highly rewarding to love those friends in return. The purpose of life should not just be to keep within a close circle of friends.
* Love for Community
Many good people devote themselves to their own community, through voluntary work, fundraising activities, campaigning on local issues, and getting involved in regional politics.
Support for a community, love of a particular place, and pride in local achievements can also create negative reactions, through fear, bitterness, rivalry, even hatred of anyone who is not from the same background. To allow prejudice to become a purpose in life shows a complete lack of love for humanity.
Loving and supporting others in the community is a commendable way to live, but if it becomes a life purpose it can preclude greater love for humanity.
* Universal Love
The capacity for universal love is a rare and wonderful quality. Real love is always unconditional. It does not cease through disagreement, or from disappointment. It allows forgiveness.
Love for humanity accepts people of all faiths, or of no faith. It involves actively caring for the less fortunate, and does not exclude anyone just for being different. Universal love gives real purpose to life.
* Self Love
Love of self is not the same as being selfish. It is based on self knowledge and self belief. Love of self is important because it develops integrity, and establishes the desire to live with a clear conscience.
Self love allows independence and original thinking, but too much self love can be destructive if it precludes love of others. To find a life purpose it is necessary to love others, and to learn from them.
It is only through genuine love for others that a true life purpose can be discovered and maintained.