It is February and love is in the air!
Couples across the world are getting ready to paint the town red, enjoy candle lit dinners while gazing across each other over their fancy red heart shaped fondants.
Valentine’s Day is here – a day of celebration of love – a day that dates as far back as the 14th century.
Although there are conflicting stories on exactly how this day originated and who exactly St. Valentine was (since there are about a dozen St. Valentine’s, plus a Pope) the saint we celebrate on Valentine’s Day is known officially as St. Valentine of Rome.
Legend has it that St. Valentine was a Roman priest who suffered martyrdom during the persecution of Christians about 270. He was buried in Rome and reportedly the then Pope, Pope Julius, built a basilica over his grave.
It seems St. Valentine had befriended his jailor’s daughter whom he had healed from blindness. He would write letters to her and sign them: “From your Valentine”.
Although the Roman Catholic Church continues to recognize St. Valentine as a saint he was removed from the General Roman Calendar in 1969 because of the lack of reliable information about him.
To the world, St. Valentine is the patron saint of lovers.
For lovers all over the world Valentine’s Day is a day of celebration of their feelings for each other, a day designed to bring happiness and warmth and affection, to show each other how much they care, and to prove their love.
However, this day is not only for lovers. It is also a day of sharing and giving, an opportunity for us to consciously connect with each other, to show our feelings for one another. Its meaning is supposed to be much deeper than the highly commercialized circus it has become, and much more profound than merely sending that special someone a dozen red long stemmed roses.

Couples who truly love each other do not really need any artificial and material signs to prove their feelings for one another. And they certainly do not need to prove their love on just this one day. These couples enjoy and treasure their moments together in all ways always.

Love is an everyday feeling and needs no reason for celebration.

For some couples and singles alike this can also be a day that brings mixed feelings and emotions, of sadness and loneliness. For those who have lost or are separated from loved ones, estranged from their families, perhaps in relationships that have become meaningless, this can be a day filled with sad memories.  

To the couples who have lost their spark – Valentine’s Day is an occasion to forgive each other and to make things right. Remember the days when you were in love, and passionate for each other? Try to remember those days and rekindle that fire, make an effort to reignite those warm feelings for each other. Apologize if you must – for the support and help not given, or for words not spoken or heard.  

A card or a dozen red roses can be a gesture that says you are sorry, that you would like to reignite your passion for one another. Kill the routine, go out and do something out of the daily norm such as going to a nice restaurant, walking along the beach. Go to the movies, write a love letter to each other and just keep it positive and be sincere about it. Be grateful for each other’s presence in your lives and stop taking one another for granted.

For many singles out there it may seem like a cruel joke: Valentine’s Day is here (again!). Being single and unattached you do your best to ignore all the commotion and put on your best smiling face to assure everyone that you are okay. Deep inside you may be a little sad and lonely wondering when you will meet your own Valentine.

If that is you then do take heart. Valentine’s Day is all about relationships, but who says it has to be limited to only the romantic ones? 
Your first and most important relationship is with your self. 
As the Sufi poet Rumi says so beautifully:
“You have within you more love than you could ever understand.” 
So for those who are single, who are still not convinced of this unconditional love that exists deep within, who are on a constant search for their perfect soul mate, I’d like to share an excerpt from my book, The SoulMate Checklist :
“Strange how there is still a stigma around the “single” status even in this day and age. 
Do we really need to be in a relationship to be happy? 
Most of us have no clue as to what makes us truly happy, and so we drift from one relationship to another, looking for someone to fill the void because we’re so afraid of being lonely.
How about first building a healthy relationship with yourself?
When we feel better about ourselves, we’re able to have a more profound and meaningful relationship with someone else. 
Almost every woman has had her heart broken at some point in her life. How do we heal a broken heart and allow ourselves to love again? Often, we think we have to rise above the heartbreak and shake it off and go through life as if all is well. The healthy approach is to process our feelings, allow ourselves to mourn, admit how badly we feel, know that it doesn’t necessarily mean that we are not worthy or are lacking in any way.
Obviously, claim responsibility if there is something you don’t like about yourself and that you would like to change. Allow yourself to heal, to feel the pain, and eventually reach the place where you can honestly ask yourself, “What have I learned from this?” 
Look at these failures as stepping-stones leading you to your ultimate relationship— the one with your soul mate. See each person as part of your journey, each teaching you lessons that you have to learn about yourself that will lead you one step closer to the right person, who is waiting for you when you’re ready for him. 
So often in life, we set goals for ourselves and think that once we achieve them, we’ll be happy. We think if we had the right partner, if we had the right job, the new, greatest car, the wonderful, dream house, more money, and so on, we would be complete. Then one day, we realize that we have everything we thought we needed to be happy, to feel good inside, to feel worthy, but we are still not fulfilled. There is that deep feeling in our heart that something is missing. It’s the feeling that, “I’m not good enough. I need something else. I’m not okay the way I am.” There is a void that no amount of things and people can fill. What is still missing, we ask?”
  ~ The SoulMate Checklist  

Remember – your first love must be with your self. Without self-love there is no “other” love.
Be your own valentine.
“Maybe you are searching among branches for what only appears in the roots.”
Here’s wishing you a Happy Valentine’s Day!
© Rani St. Pucchi, 2019
 Rani St. Pucchi is an award-winning Couture Fashion Designer, Style & Image Consultant, and a Relationship Expert. She is a Bestselling Author, an Inspirational Speaker, and a Success Coach and Trainer. Her TEDx talk: Is Your Body Image Holding You Back? has received worldwide acclaim. Rani’s#1 International Bestselling Books, Your Body, Your Style: Simple Tips on Dressing to Flatter Your Body Type ; The SoulMate Checklist: Keys to Finding Your Perfect PartnerYour Bridal Style: Everything You Need to Know to Design the Wedding of Your Dreams; and Gold in the Cracks: Move from Shattered to Whole and Reveal Your Light are available on Amazon and at Barnes & Nobles.
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