❤Dear Valentines,

Here it is almost Valentine’s Day, and I am still captured by the elegance, hearts, dark chocolates, and romance of the romantic moment when love is in the air. In truth, I don’t know who my Valentine might be or where he is, but truth be told, with each passing year, I have realized that it is a choice as a woman to be the heroine of my own life and make Valentine’s Day extra special, especially if there is no one who will do the honors for me. Going out and pampering oneself for a pedi/mani, a facial, a new hair dew, a women’s happy hour or gathering for a small intimate partae’ of choice, is always a unique way of being around friends who have liked-minded interests. Choosing to make Valentine’s day special for oneself is not difficult and does not have to be expensive. Throwing a fondue potluck dinner party is also fun, or even just appetizers and wine spritzes. No one ever has to be alone on Valentine’s Day. You can even send or pick up flowers for yourself if that is what makes you happy to celebrate love!? Do you even know what your favorite flower is? What about your favorite color or cuisine? Those are important things to reflect on, because they make you stand out as unique individuals. You are worthy of having the best of everything!? It doesn’t matter if you have little or lots of money, how you treat yourself is how others will treat you. You are the one who drives and authors the chapter of your story. So, every choice and action you thoughtfully make impacts yours and other people’s lives. With that in mind, let us find out what Valentine’s Day is all about. Why do we have this insatiable urge to “need” a Valentine? And, what is it inside of us that longs for someone to love us unconditionally?

What is the true meaning of Valentine’s Day? We think of it as flowers, candy, presents, and romantic gestures of heartfelt love from our significant others and those we hold dearest to our hearts. However, not everyone feels this way about giving. And yet, Hallmark sold $17.6B worth of cards last year for this romantic day! So, obviously, someone must be enjoying the profits of love, even if it isn’t YOU!?

If history serves me right, the Romans from February 13-15, celebrated the feast of Lupercalia. This was a celebration of fertility, of early spring, whereby the Roman’s ancestors literally spread their love. Inasmuch, the Romans sacrificed a goat and dog, then took their blood soaked skins and would hit young women surrounding the City of Rome with them to mark them as being open to fertility for young men. As strange as this may seem, everybody thought this was an invitation for the spirits of their ancestors to re-incarnate them through the cycle of rebirth and ensure fertility. It seems that young maidens would actually line up for this event, wanting to be “hit on” by these sacrificed animal hides, in hopes they would be matched with a partner. As it was, back in the day, the Roman romantics were drunk and naked. [Nothing new there!]? haha! The course of events led to women’s names being put in an urn as a matchmaking lottery, and men would draw from it to see whom they would be partnered with during the “fertility” festival. Sometimes, if the matchmaking went well, the partnership could go on as long as a year or more. NPR 

“[How the name Valentine came into being is said through a legend during the 3rd Century of the Roman Empire]. In the 3rd century, the Roman Emperor Claudius II thought marriage was not good for war since men wanted to stay home with their wives, so he outlawed marriage.? At the time there was a Christian priest named Valentine who felt sorry for the couples and married people in secret. When Claudius found out, he threw Valentine in jail and executed him on Feb. 14.❤ Before his death however, Valentine wrote a letter to the jailer’s daughter, who had become his friend and signed it from your Valentine.” huffingtonpost-history of valentines day

Some other common threads woven within the tapestry of our Valentine lives today comes from the Middle Ages of France and England. Here, men continued to draw young women’s names out of urns to be partnered with. It seemed, many of the bachelors would want to pronounce their love openly and would place a heart on their sleeve announcing they were literally wearing their “heart on their sleeves” and committed to the ones they loved.

Even still, l can’t seem to find with clarity how a Valentine can elude me so easily and swiftly from my fingertips after all these years. It seems my valentine can flow like water, so softly and gently like tear drops onto my face. Another year passes and I stop to celebrate this loving season, not because I may not have a valentine, but because it is love that inspires people to feel with their hearts, to be generous, kind, compassionate, and filled with a spiritual light. I don’t need someone to make me feel this way. I already am filled up with love without the presence of another person. I have self-love and that is enough for me, because without it, I could not thrive nor begin to love another person intimately. Self-love is and remains a personal best of resiliency. Those whom have been through trauma or abuse know about resiliency, surviving on threads, hiding in darkness, shame, guilt, fear, pain, loss, and personal violation. Yet, with self-love, you have a way of facilitating the road blocks, the fears, the loneliness, and the pain, because you realize how amazing a person you are. You learn how to forgive yourself. Your realize that many of the issues and challenges you have faced were not your fault. Yet sadly, you have allowed your mind to think they were for many many years.

It is sad to convey, but these old tapes from our parents or those whom hurt us have paralyzed our minds into suffering such tragic lives, whereby we have been brainwashed into thinking we deserved everything that happened to us. Yet, we Did Not deserve any such thing. Sometimes those old tapes are difficult to cut out of our thinking. Consequently, it is remarkable if you find a partner to assist you in inspiring your mind with new thoughts, praise, affirmation, and self-talk that is worthy of you and your accomplishments so your fears to do not dominate your daily routine and eventually become less and less. Shutting down the old tapes will open up new opportunities for you to be more transparent in your communication, more productive at work, less angry at yourself and others, more joyful, and more confident in who you are and what you stand for. In with the new and out with the old is always refreshing! 🙂

No one who has love inside of them is filled with hatred, because love is far greater and brighter than any hate or darkness.✨ Love is what grounds us in our character, values, and the strength to rise when we have been crushed into the hole of disparity. Love, pure love is what we are made of. It is what motivates us to rise up every morning, even with our aches and pains, and inspires us to celebrate a new day.? It is what gives us the grace and dignity to move forward without contempt and bitterness inside of us, so we are free to love others.? Love teaches us how to forgive and let go of the imprinted marks that have imprisoned us for so long in our minds, heart, and soul. Love is our voice, our compass, and the mirror of glow that comes out of us to allow others and ourselves to be in the light and breathe. I believe in love. I believe that God is love.? And, I believe we are made in His image. In doing so, we are love, pure and sparkling love. There is a spark of God in each of us just waiting to come out and light up His glorious world!? I see Valentine’s Day as one of the best days to start the vibration in motion!?

Consequently, love is such a mystery to me. The heart longs for what it wants, without a map, path, or mathematical equation. There’s no psychological reasoning for what the heart wants, and when we choose a partner, we lose sight of rationale all together. It’s such an illusive concept to be “in love” with someone. It’s like the air we breathe. We can’t see it, but we know it’s there. We feel the wind on our skin. With love, we feel our heightened sensitivity of emotions, our skin rises with goose bumps, our breath paces slightly faster, the palms of our hands get a little sweaty, and our hearts are beating at a higher rhythm to keep up with the arousal from the increased hormonal level. Wow! It’s mind blowing, right?!

Unfortunately, though, it’s with a slight of hand in being on this mountain top, because once you have been there, you want it like an addiction. Love is unsettling, a calling, a need, a want, a dependency… And, yet, while you are independent, you do not, in truth, require it, because you have everything you need inside of you. But, still, you yearn for this connection, companion, soulmate, and intimate friend who is the key to your heart.? There is nothing better in this world than finding a partner who cherishes you, wants the best for you, lifts you higher, and is there for you when life crumbles under your feet. On the other side of the coin, you must be willing to mirror those same characteristics, maybe in a slightly different step, yet, one that slides so perfectly in tune. Love is actually a dance between two people in perfect harmony. If you’re not careful, however, you may start stepping on each other’s toes and forget whom you are dancing with. Love takes work and practice, just like any relationship. It’s foundation should be built on trust, integrity, communication, compassion, companionship, listening, forgiveness, kindness, compromise, commitment, humor, intimacy, and love.? If it is not, there may be gaps in the health and endurance of the partners whom have come together and need more guidance in areas that need strengthened.

As Rumi says so beautifully, “Who you are seeking is seeking you…” Never underestimate the power and significance of love. It transforms a person and heals wounds long before our minds have a chance to know the difference. When we least expect it, the person we seek is usually right in front of our faces, and yet, we fail to see them through our densely fogged lenses due to our tribulations of old. Our fears encompasses so much of our heart, it is challenging to seek a new perspective when all we have to do is “blink,” or wash away what status quo we usually “see” from our finely trained brain. Perception is a learned sequence of habits. Don’t let perception be your compass. Love is so much wiser, stronger, and brighter! Pure love is given with transparency, unconditionally, compassionately, genuinely, and intimately. IF YOU BELIEVE IT, YOU WILL SEE IT?

?Wishing all my Love Bugs the willingness to choose themselves as their Valentine this year if they are alone. A Fabulous One is the greatest gift of self-love you can offer oneself this Valentine’s Day❣ Find whatever it is that makes you glow on this whimsical day of LOVE! As for me, “Life is like a box of [dark] chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get!” (Forest Gump) I enjoy not knowing what the future holds, but I do know who holds the future. And, for me, that is enough.

Sending all of my Valentines a day of magical surprises that warms your hearts and fills you with love…?? Believe in the magic! Believe in YOU! Only YOU can make the magic come true….✨

If you are alone on this Valentine’s Day and need support, I am here for you. Please email me and we can share conversation. Have a very blessed Valentine’s Day my sweet tribe.?

?In Light and Love,

Kimberly Lees, Ed.D.


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