Regarding the holiday, I know that Valentine’s Day can be a difficult day for those who have lost loved ones or those who find themselves alone that day. As an adult, I have been single, then married, then a single mom, then married again (the man pictured above, with whom I am still in love). During my single years, when I wasn’t dating, I remember feeling kinda crappy on Valentine’s Day. I didn’t feel sorry for myself, I just felt left out of the whole lovers’ holiday theme. That is, until I figured out what the true meaning of Valentine’s Day was.

I began to think of Valentine’s Day as a celebration of SELF-LOVE because without it how can you truly love others? I’ve been lucky with love, and have had the joy of falling in love with more than one man. Each one has taught me things about myself, as I saw myself through his eyes. It was easy to fall in love with a man — much more difficult to love myself! This has been a lifelong journey of learning to love myself. I mean fully and completely, adoring my weaknesses, accepting all the choices I’ve made, and of course, taking care of my body in a loving and healthy way every day (forgiving myself when I fall short).

I would like to declare that Valentine’s Day is a day to reinforce the love you have for yourself, and acknowledge the joy you bring to the world. It’s about reconnecting with who you are inside and the things that light you up. One of the best ways of loving others is by serving as an example. You could be the stylish grandmother who always shows up for family events wearing something lovely and put-together! Or, the girlfriend who comes to the weekly card game dressed up in something current and colorful. When you have fun with fashion, and love yourself enough to make that extra effort to pull a stylish outfit together, you will get noticed! The gift of self-love and self-expression is the best way I know to give yourself a big Valentine’s Day heartfelt hug!

What’s your best Valentine’s Day memory? How do you celebrate this special lover’s holiday?