Have you prepared yourself for the month of “love”? Stores filled with pink and red toys, gifts, and candy that either makes you smile or feel discouraged about love because you are single, divorced, in a fight, or whatever your love situation is.

My love situation is pretty good these days. I’ll be moving in with my boyfriend in early spring. I'm not here to throw that in your face, but I get to boast because I’ve dated a variety of men who have emotionally abused, lied to, and cheated on me. I learned a tremendous amount about myself; therefore, I thank these a-holes for making me stronger even when they tried to weaken my Identity.

I believe in the past 30 years I have learned a great deal and believe I have a good idea about love and thought I’d share with you. Please feel free to comment below and share your tips on love.

Love Yourself – We tend to look for others to love us. They won’t love us until we love ourselves first. It’s an every, single day battle for many of us women to fully love within, but when you love yourself it’s unconditional love. Who doesn’t want that? Nobody can take this love away from you. You make the choice and steps to love YOU. Why not start now?

Give Love and Respect – Who do you love and respect? Do you show it with words, actions, and/or gifts? What you put out there to the universe and those around you will come back. Love and respect and the universe will respond.

Love Comes and Goes – If you don’t know this by now, then I don’t know what to tell you. Love comes into our life and sometimes it leaves before we even realized we had love. Do we always know why? Nope. It sucks because I’m the type that needs answers, but sometimes it takes time to understand why we lost a certain type of love—love in a relationship, love for a hobby, or a loved one taken from us. Therefore, when you love, embrace it and cherish it. Don’t be scared or shy, just live for the day and love in the moment.

Valentine’s Day is coming up, and I want you to know you are loved. I love you, and love your support for Identity. I wish you love and happiness!

Author's Bio: 

From a young age, my two driving forces in life were to run my own business and have a positive influence on others. Like many fine women I know, I’ve always had to work hard for what I wanted.

I’m a native New Jersey girl from Wharton, where I still reside, and I’ve always had a creative spirit. After graduating with a fine arts degree and a dual focus in graphic design and photography from Frostburg State University, I had a tough time finding a job.

I had spread my wings and spent a summer in London with a friend who thrived on life, just like I do. I lived in a hostel until I found a job tending bar. I lived above the bar and I worked hard, traveled hard, and of course, partied hard. I traveled to France for the second time in my life, then to Dubai and South Africa for the first time. I met extraordinary people who taught me how values, morals, expectations, and survival skills are just a few characteristics that create your identity. Putting myself out of my comfort zone, meeting these beautiful, intelligent friends taught me a world of lessons that I would not have found anywhere else. I thank them tremendously for that.