1. It's not my favorite sports team.
2. It's not my favorite food.
3. It's not my favorite article of clothing.
4. It's not my favorite mode of transportation.
5. It's not my favorite house, apartment or park bench.
6. It's not my favorite flag, group of people or philosophy.
7. It's not my favorite historical figure, movie, play or other written work.
It's not a word I trivialize or address for common everyday occurrences. It's a special word I use to describe and reinforce my relationship in a moment in time with God (as a believer) and with other human beings. Yes, you can feel deep empathy for animals but it is not the same as loving a person you know in the present or in the past.
The English language is rich in descriptive words and their specific meanings. However the word 'love' has been debauched and exploited by clever marketing people and political science propagandists who use humanities' ardor for our deities and one another as a mechanism to sell the people something.
Like the natural rights we all enjoy as human beings, my love cannot be bought, sold, taken or given away without my consent of freewill. I revere the word as a special expression of my deep feelings and cherish it more than gold.
A long time ago I vowed to use the word 'love' in conversation, prose and poetry when I only felt unconditional caring for whatever person was the object of my love. When I declare, "I love you," I mean to convey an extraordinary sensation of emotion for a person without the expectation of a requitable response.
It is a powerful yet simple word that sits atop the pinnacle of my life along with my personal meaning of God, liberty and freedom.