Often for Valentines, I remind parents (and myself) to focus
on the love of God, the love of Family, the love of Friends and the Love of our
Children – not just romance. It just seems that on this holiday,
there is so much focus on romantic love that families need to be reminded that
that is not the only kind of love to celebrate! Romantic love is great,
don’t get me wrong, but, it seems to come and go in many of our lives. At
Single Parent Advocate, we used to do a Valentines Dance for parents to come
with their kids and do crafts, and celebrate each other. It was
always a fun time and I hope we can bring that kind of spirit into our homes

When romantic love is fleeting, it is easy to look in the
mirror, and really get down on yourself. We do this by focusing on
all the things we cannot be, or cannot do, or cannot have. For example, I
find myself always wanting to give a little more, do a few more chores,
participate in more activities, read more, cook more, clean more…look better,
be more fit, be more smart….you name it. So much so, that I have
become my own worst enemy.

Honestly, if we question our ambition – why do we do this to
ourselves? Is it because we do not LOVE ourselves? This is
especially important for us as single parents to explore. After all, it
is said, you cannot love others, unless you first, love yourself.

Well, to me, that is a tall order. How do you
even do that? Especially when our opinion of ourselves is so often
centered around other’s opinions and evaluations of us even though we all know
that everything cannot be perfect.

So this Valentines, I want to send you a little love note –
a message in a bottle – if you will. Picture this little note
floating your way and surprising you with a message that has come a long way,
and is just for you – and picture it on the inside being a truly good thing –
filled with exactly what you needed – and may have given up on.


Here goes:

I want you to stop a moment, and close your eyes, breathe
in, and imagine yourself just as you are being accepted, appreciated, and
fulfilled. Picture your family and friends and even God lovingly smiling
at you with warmth and care. Then look at yourself in the mirror,
and do the same.

Loving yourself, really? Where do you even
begin? Especially when so many around you are so quick to say all
the things you are not. So…let’s begin right there- let’s begin
with what we are not:

Make a list of all the things that you ARE – not a list of all the things you
are NOT. We are not designed to be everything to everyone.
Expecting that of ourselves is unrealistic and unachievable.

Then, trim that list to the things that you LIKE about yourself, what you are
proud of, or what you enjoy being capable of.

Include what you are thankful for in your life. What are thing unique things
to you that have really made you pause and say thanks.

Remember, who you are is not equal to what you do, or do not
do. You are not the sum of your failures.

You are unique, and you are incredible. You have
amazing potential.

You deserve to be loved – especially by the one you see
every day in the mirror.

Happy Valentine’s Day to you and your families. May it
be full of all the kinds of love there are!


Mark 12:31 (NIV)

The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no
commandment greater than these.”

Galatians 5:14 (NIV)

For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your
neighbor as yourself.”

James 2:8 (NIV)

If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,”
you are doing right.