I remember a long time ago, having a bunch of chaos going on in my life. My boyfriend at the time just had no ability to stay centered and hold space for me. After one particularly frustrating evening, I found myself driving home early after a big eruption. I didn’t want anything but to just relax and enjoy and he just couldn’t be there for me. So, there I was, diving home and I started feeling sorry for myself. It was an old self-pity story I’d run before. “Every time I need something, my partner just can’t/won’t show up for me! I’m always left taking care of myself!” And, fortunately, right in the middle of that old programmed response, I caught myself. Thank goddess, I caught myself . . . I thought “Wait, I’m always left taking care of myself . . . I’M AWESOME AT THAT! I do a fantastic job of showing up! I know how to be compassionate, loving, supportive . . . I’m going home to take care of myself and that’s not a booby prize, that’s the freakin’ jackpot!” So, when I got home, I acted like I was my ultimate boyfriend. I lovingly drew a bath for myself, put in some nice epsom salts, lavender oil, lit candles, turned on some music, and that started a whole new concept for me. I started spending time imagining, “If I was a man who was in relationship with me, how would I want me to show up?” I started recognizing that I had a lot of great things to offer, and I started offering them . . . to me. It was so nice! I quit expecting it from my boyfriend (very soon after he was my ex-boyfriend), and quit putting all my unrequited and unappreciated acts of generosity outside of myself and started offering it with great enthusiasm to myself. It has continued to nourish me through break-ups and other hard times. It has also helped me to, much more easily, detect when a potential partner just doesn’t/can’t show up the way I want. Then I get to make a decision of whether that is important or not. If it’s important, I can ask for it, and if I don’t receive it, I know I can offer it to myself. I can also make a much more empowered decision about who I enter into a committed relationship with. It certainly isn’t based on unspoken expectations or co-dependent needs anymore. Being my own best lover has liberated me from needy relationships, but most of all, it’s given me a new best friend . . . ME. During this month of LOVE, I encourage you, whether you’re in a relationship or not, to start giving yourself time and space to court yourself. Imagine your ideal and then make your dreams come true! You might learn some really amazing things about yourself. And then, when those yummy gestures show up from someone else, you’ll be even more appreciative. Happy Valentine’s Day! May you be surrounded by LOVE!