One of my favorite mentors always says: “Focus on love, not on wanting love.”

Today, Valentine’s Day, the proclaimed Day of Love, is a day that tends to evoke many emotions within us.

I would like to explore some thoughts with you about the different types of love that I have experienced and observed. Love with a partner, and without a partner. May I?
If we are in a loving relationship with our partner, we can make choices every day how to show our love. With today being the “celebrated” day to express love, our loving relationship can grow deeper. For some, this day seems a painful reminder of what isn’t.

Here are some choices we can make:

We can choose to feel grateful that this special someone is in our life. No matter how imperfect this relationship may be, we can express our appreciation with spoken or written words, gifts, sharing the love from our heart by smiling, saying “I love you,” “thank you,” and even a heartfelt hug.

Or we can hold back and not be generous (in spirit) with our expression of gratitude and love. We can choose to focus on the negative, forgetting that the sincere intentions of this person are much higher and grander. “Life” might be temporarily getting in the way of the thoughtful expression we long for. We might feel so empty that we can’t see beyond the moment—so we hold back our heart.

If we give generously today, or if we hold back, we will create memories that we will hold in our heart more deeply because, after all, this is the day of LOVE. Right?

Today is the day that we are faced with reminders—everywhere we turn—that life is either fabulously loving or painfully lacking when it comes to matters of the heart.

Even though Valentine’s Day is a commercially promoted day to show this love, we may think that the only way to express our LOVE is in a relationship with a partner.

But what if you are without a partner? Then today can inspire you to get in touch with your appreciation for even the small things you love in your life. Things such as a kind word, a smile, an unexpected hug, a child’s innocent face, the beauty of a sunset, the waves crashing on the shore, friends that are always there, an unexpected phone call, paying the mortgage or rent, and putting food on the table. You might find that when you think about these things, they will bring you love, joy, peace, and even gratitude.

Wherever your heart is at this moment, I celebrate you. If you are reading this, you are most likely heart-centered and loving. If you are without a partner, but desire one, I would like to offer some encouragement.

Love is about connection. It’s a link of one heart to another. We are wired for love. If you believe in God as the Creator, then you will understand that He created us in His image. He IS love, so we are love. That is why a well-known Cognitive Neuroscientist says that we are “wired” for it.

The second connection that is most important is our relationship with our self. We can choose to relate to ourselves first—relate to and connect with YOU. You may be asking, “How?” There are ways to do this, and it’s easier than you think. You will love the results.

As an illustration, when we board an airplane, we are reminded that if the oxygen mask drops, we are to put that mask on ourselves first before we try to help our child or another. Why? We understand that this is a critical step to keep us from losing consciousness, rendering us helpless.

Similarly, if we don’t know, understand and love ourselves, it’s harder for us to understand and love those around us. We will even begin to think that everyone should be like us. Heaven forbid! What a boring world that would be! We need all the different personalities to help us change and grow into who we are designed to be.

Isn’t it our tendency to critically judge ourselves? It is dangerous for us to judge our insides against “their” outsides. We are each uniquely designed, with our set of fingerprints. No one else in the world is like us. How awesome is that?

So if your desire is to be in a loving relationship with a partner, I encourage you to explore all that is available today to help you get in touch with and connect with yourself first. Then, give yourself the gift of choosing to put YOU first on a committed path to self-discovery this year. You will thank yourself before next Valentine’s Day!

If you make that commitment to yourself, you will learn how wonderful and unique you are, and your confidence will soar. Men and women are attracted to confident people. You will learn to draw the perfect one to you.

I encourage you to not settle for less than you deserve. The way you make sure you don’t settle for less is to become the “chooser.” The way to becoming the chooser is first to become the best YOU that you can be. You will then attract the best, and your choices will be much better suited for you.

Now, if you are content with being single, and you’re not interested in finding a partner, then please consider that YOU are the perfect one to make this day a special day for someone whom you may know is hurting.

I remember when I was a kid on Valentine’s Day we brought cards and candies for our friends. The wise teachers made sure each child brought cards for everyone in the classroom so no one would feel left out. Well, as an adult, you probably know someone who is feeling “left out,” and you have the opportunity to reach out to that someone and put a little love in their life with a smile, a hug, a card or even a call. You can show your love in so many creative ways. I encourage you to find even one person that may need a kind gesture today. You can do this. I know you can, and your act of kindness will be remembered forever!

I wish you a Happy Valentine’s Day. May you enjoy sharing the love you have in your heart today. Remember, love NEVER fails.