Valentine’s Day, also known as Saint Valentine’s Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine….this day is one of my favorites.  I like the idea that love is celebrated.  Authentic. Mature. True. Love.  It delights me to see the pink and red flower arrangements being delivered to someone’s beloved; an expression of affection and devotion.  Teddy bears and chocolates fly off the shelves, restaurants are brimming with couples sharing candlelight dinners and jewelry stores are a buzz in the days prior to February 14th assisting  guys in finding the perfect “something special” for their gals.

Statistic tell us that each year there are 2.4 million marriages and 1.2 million divorces in the United States.  This doesn’t necessarily mean that the divorce rate is 50%.  Current figures indicate that a young couple marrying for the first time have a 40% divorce risk, certainly better odds than 50/50, but nothing to write home about and certainly not a number that “delights” me.

The optimist in me hopes that these gestures of endearment that I witness (on my favorite day) are genuine and heartfelt and not someone simply going through the motions.  This brings me back to Authentic. Mature. True. Love.  I believe this starts with each of us as individuals.  We must take the responsibility to love ourselves first before we are capable of loving another.  We must honor, celebrate and cherish our authentic self.  We must be kind and treat ourselves like we want others to treat us.  Genuine self-love is the core of well being, happiness and joy.  It is only when we have achieved a high level of self-love that we are in a position to enter into a healthy, balanced and enduring relationship with another person.

This Valentine’s Day I invite you to commemorate the occasion for all the right reasons.  Don’t become a statistic.  Honor yourself and in so doing, honor those who you love from a place of “realness”… a place of legitimacy… and a place of substance and sanctity.  May you be blessed with a magical Feast of Saint Valentine!