So once again we all find ourselves in the hearty wash cycle of February. Marinating whether we like it or not immersed in love marketing, preparing mentally, emotionally and physically for the DAY of LOVE that is Valentines Day  ta dahhhhh, so nearly upon us.

“Love” is now literally flooding our purchasing world, in supermarkets, card shops, social media, wine shops, more supermarkets, coffee shops – we are all swimming in the expectation of the possibility of love.   Except for one thing, “Where is the love?” asks the Black Eyed Peas.  If the figures are right, currently in the US 1 in 4 people have no one to turn to or talk to… The saddest of stats on this burgeoning, over-populated and increasingly lonely planet of ours…  Yes indeed, where is the love?  

Perhaps then, we could start with the place we are least likely to look for love and that is within ourselves?  Why so?  Are we so disjointed, distracted or disinterested in who we really are, that we have forgotten that love truly begins with ourselves?  So here is a little experiment… take a few moments, either in your mind or on paper and note down a list of people and things that you love…………….. How many of you had “me”, “myself” or “I” on your list?  If you did, I would love you to say why in the Comments box… people need to hear how good it feels to love yourself… I will start… I love myself because I make myself laugh, I make a mean paella and I trust my intuition.

So if love begins with ourselves, surely then the love we can give others from this place within us is our most authentic love?  Is this why perhaps self-love is sometimes the toughest love?  Is this why it is always an easier option, although not necessarily a less painful one, to go looking for love elsewhere?  Caring, loving and cherishing ourselves gives us the rock-solid foundations and equips us with a whole ocean full of abundant love to give wholeheartedly to another.

Recently, whilst teaching a teen mindfulness session I mentioned February 14th. What I observed were the veils of sadness, despair and anxiety that dropped across lovely, fresh, gorgeous faces with one commenting how she “hated” Valentines Day.  Hate is a strong word for a day supposedly about love… but for this young woman, Valentine’s Day is synonymous with everything that is, on so many levels, wrong with our society. Shame, embarrassment, the ‘lack’ of love, the loneliness felt by too many during the February cloudy gloom?  I am on a roll with my soap box, so throwing in humiliation, judgement and the one-up-man-ship of cards, flowers, tables for two and the contrived extraordinary efforts of the marketeers to continue the shameless highlighting. Or could this be seen as supporting a less than love healthy world helping us all to feel the love? 

What I love is this …. there are so many people old and young in love, and there is nothing so wonderful as seeing love in its most kindest, affectionate and longevitous form. Be it the first buds of young love and shy glances, a couple giggling with their children or later life lovebirds walking hand in hand…. these are all reminders that love is amazing, real and there for us all.  

Are you feeling the loneliness of Valentine’s Day? So whether you are single, married or divorced?  I dare you to rise to the challenge of being your own Valentine this year … Gift yourself some lovely s, buy beautiful underwear and wear it for the day, call someone you care about and tell them you love them – family, friends, children, grandchildren… Let’s just not stop the loving because it isn’t happening the way we want it to… 

Be the change #notjustforvalentines, use the hashtag to remind your friends and followers that love is not just for Valentines Day… spread the love, be your amazing, loving and authentic self…

Peace and love gorgeous hearts, peace and love Xx

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