Today is Valentines Day. While mainstream media and department stores would have you believe that you must be part of a couple to celebrate this chocolate and rose-covered holiday, I am here to tell you to join in the love-fest by yourself. For yourself.


For people who are separated, divorced, or single for any other reason, each day can bring new challenges in learning how to go through life’s daily routine on their own. Those who have spent years with a significant other find that being thrust into singledom to deal with kids, schedules, meeting people, paying bills, and taking care of oneself physical and emotionally is something that takes time to adjust to. Today is one of those days you may have possibly chosen to forget. Perhaps you ar experiencing a breakup or relationship problems as you read this article.  You will make it through this painful moment.


And now here come’s Valentine’s Day. A holiday that has some singles wishing they were in a relationship, even if spending the day solo is the absolute best thing that they could be doing for themselves.


Whatever stage you’re in now, in your transition to discovering you who are without another person, remember that you have everything inside of you that you need to embrace a holiday like Valentine’s Day and honor your one true love. Yourself. Tend to the land and then reap the benefits of the harvest, so to speak. Spend today loving yourself, and tomorrow allow that love to spread out and be shared with others.


There are many reasons why relationships don’t work out, and many more reason’s why we haven’t quite found the right partner for our present and our future. I could write dozens of blog posts on these two topics, but all of them would share the same theme and that is – we need to be at the perfect point in our life, where we know ourselves as love before we can share that love with our partner and others. If we want to have a relationship that works and brings joy to everyone involved, we must first know how to work with ourselves and have joy for ourselves.


Notice, I didn’t say that we have to be perfect before we enter into a relationship, never making a mistake or always saying the right thing. But, we have to be at that perfect place where we realize that we are loveable and worthy of love on our own; as ourselves without the need for someone to lift us up or fan our fire. When we can honestly say that we feel loved and know that we are loved, despite who is in our life or what people think about us, we are on our way to self-love at our core, which is the requirement for a healthy and mutually beneficial relationship.


So, if you’re single today, on Valentine’s Day, stop and take a minute to access your love-meter and ask yourself honestly where you are at in terms of showing unlimited and unconditional love for yourself first and foremost.


You’ve probably heard it hundreds of times – we can’t truly love another until we have learned to love ourselves. The measure of the love we extend to others is only reflective of the amount of love we have inside of us.


Today, I urge singles to use this holiday as more than a commercial gimmick to sell pink and red cards that may eventually be thrown away, restaurant reservations that may not even compare to a home-cooked meal, or jewelry that we don’t really need.


Spend this Valentine’s focused on the LOVE part of the equation, and evaluate whether you are completely filled up right now with the essence of LOVE in your heart and soul. I know, and you will soon realize as well, that when you have embodied LOVE as a pure source of unlimited caring and compassion for yourself, you will naturally be drawn to a mate who has found the same truth in them.


When you learn to love yourself despite your past, despite your current human attempts at growth, and despite anything else that seems to contradict the loving being that you are at your core, you will then be able to connect with another person, and offer the same honesty, forgiveness, and trust that is essential in a successful relationship.


Celebrate this Valentine’s Day knowing that you ARE in a relationship. With yourself. And, make today an affirmation to yourself that you are exactly where you need to be, learning how to be good to yourself, practicing having faith in yourself, having fun with yourself, showing patience to yourself, and all of the other important things that you will one day share with a partner.


Today, spend time saying I love you first and foremost to yourself. This is the beginning of attracting that other person in your life one day.  Savor a dinner or box of chocolates or a conversation with friends. You may find a place in your heart to reach out to someone less fortunate than you, someone who today, this evening who could use a call from you as they work through their lonliness.  This is a day of love to be expressed in many more way than one.  Happy Valentines day to all of us!


Curt Canada provides career, leadership, and life coaching in Washington DC at Adapting2Change, a DC Chamber of Commerce Member.