I remember Valentine’s Day 1978. Freshman Year. High School. UGH. EVERYONE (or at least almost everyone) received a Valentine’s Carnation Gram except ME (or so it seemed) and I felt awful, ugly, and shamed. I swear this is a visceral memory, one that I have remembered almost every Valentine’s Day since. That’s a lot of years. That’s a lot of uncomfortable, not so fun baggage for Valentine’s Day.

In a grand twist of fate, Valentine’s Day 1979, I received 2 Carnation Grams. And I noticed that not everyone received flowers that day. In fact, by the end of the day, I felt embarrassed. I remember the shift in my energy like it was yesterday – from shivering anticipation and delight to wanting to hide. How could I celebrate when I knew that others might be feeling how I felt the year before?

[There’s so much more to share about how we create this phenomena of self-doubt and shame around ‘belonging’ and ‘love’, but I will wait to write about that another day]

Fast forward to today, Valentine’s Day 2017. I wake up beside my beloved determined to experience Valentine’s Day with joy and love! The memories are still inside, but today they are not the first thing I experience. I experience love, laughter, and a bit more…

However, as the morning unfolds, I feel the familiar discomfort of a day that brings a lot of people pain. Real pain. The kind of pain that makes hearts hurt for real.

I remember my first Valentine’s Day after my divorce – it was heartwrenching in some ways and in others, liberating. Really.

I knew it was time to ‘practice what I preach’ especially on Valentine’s Day! And did I? No. Not really. I cried. A lot. I wanted nothing more than the deep, powerful, sensual, spiritual, and sexual love that I knew was possible.

Deep down, though, deep inside, I remembered that Sensuous Wisdom starts with yourself. Always & Forever.

From that miserable, awful, worse than 1978 Valentine’s Day, I vowed to myself to LOVE in all ways, always. And I remembered, ever more deeply, my commitment to the divine sacred feminine that lives within us all: explore, discover, guide, teach that feeling delicious is possible, no matter what.

Being sensual, feeling alive, expressing your radiance, and feeling magnetic are your birthright. None of these depends on your ‘relationship status’. They only depend on you loving you.

I love being a sensual woman. I love being in an intimate relationship with a deeply loving man.

But what I love today, Valentine’s Day 2017, is that I love myself more than I ever have. I love that I can be me. I really love that I get to help others be their radiant selves in the highest and best way with grace, ease, joy and pleasure!

It is a on-going journey. One that I keep private in some ways and share very openly in others.

What I know for sure is that LOVE really is powerful. Healing.

I am grateful for the depths of both grief and joy that I have felt in this lifetime. Freshman Year was a long time ago…but that day I learned something that would influence the course of my life forever.

Remember: You are LOVE.

Happy Valentine’s Day with love from me to you!

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