As a single mum for many years I used to hate Valentines day. It was a day when I felt more alone, more challenged and less loved!

When everyone had someone … except me… and all I had were the struggles of being ‘the everything’ for my little girl.

One day I woke up, thank God, to the reality that this elusive love I was searching for to fill me up, to make me whole and to give me happiness was already here, right under my nose.

It was actually deep inside of me!

From that moment forth Valentines day became a celebration for me to enjoy this divine love I shared with my beautiful Joelle. Ok it wasn’t the romantic love that I yearned for from another, but it was a love so deep and so pure that I decided to make it a special day in honour of that love.

Joelle and I would dance, sing and cut out love hearts and hang them around the flat. I told Joelle how deeply I loved her and how grateful I was that she was my beautiful girl, and she inevitably shared the love she felt for me. She made love hearts out of the lettuce leaves and the green peas in the salad. We even made heart shaped bliss bombs for the bath, scented with fragrant essential oils.

All so easy to do and such a sacred connecting time for us both.

Valentines day is all about love and is the perfect time to create more love, more joy and more connection … not just between you and your partner but also with your kids, between siblings and especially with yourself.

So make it a day to acknowledge yourself and each other. Create space to honour this deep love that is the parent child love, the partner love or your own life force cursing through you. So often we go days without expressing the truth of how we feel, even to ourselves, expecting our loved ones to know. We don’t realise that this simple acknowledgement of how special they are to you deepens the precious bond reinforcing healthy foundations in the relationship of connection, trust and love.

Instead of chocolate or material gifts you might like to offer your child or loved one a special heart-shaped gift certificate of a 15 minute foot rub or head massage each day for a month. Joelle loved this simple time of physical connection and we did it regularly. You might like to snuggle up together to offer this gift, without any agenda, without any need to impart your wisdom or even the necessity of words … just this beautiful connection and feeling the reverence and safety of ‘being’ together. You might even find that this is the best gift you can actually give to yourself.

In saying that, the most important love offering of all is the love you give to yourself. Acknowledge yourself for all you do in showing up in life that can often be fraught with challenges, pain and emotional upheavals. Whether you are a partner, a parent, a friend, a carer, turn your awareness within on this Valentines day with compassion and care for yourself.

Even if you are feeling alone or unloved as I was, just stop for a few moments and give yourself a hug, as if you are hugging a little child who needs acknowledgement and care. Just welcome the tenderness of pure connection and rest in a gentle embrace of your loving self.