In the run up to Valentine's Day the shops go crazy, trying to sell you items that will make you or your loved one feel loved.
I remember, as a teenager that my maths teacher told us he refused to buy his wife a card on Valentine's Day. We were shocked. He said that he didn't want to be told when to love his wife because he loved her all the time. He wanted to show her this love when it was right for him.
As I look at my kids I want to show them each day how much I love them. I want to show my husband how much I love him. But, as a coach I've realised that it's not my job to make them feel loved. That's their job.
Yes, I can help them feel loved and of course I want to do that, but the only way they can actually feel loved is to start with loving themselves.
My seven year old son has been going through a tough time again. Every day he tells us that he doesn't deserve to be loved, or happy, or have friends.
Every day I tell him that we love him, but it's falling on deaf ears.
The spiritual teacher Abraham Hicks often states that 'words don't teach'. Action does.
So, I give my kids cuddles every day. I smile at them, I make eye contact as often as I can. I do what I can to show them that they are indeed loved.
Image thanks to canstockphoto
But kids learn from observation. Adults are their role models.
How many parents out there truly love who they are?
Can you look in the mirror and love who you see? Or are you focused on the bits you want to change?
So, if you want to show your loved ones how much you love them you have to start by loving yourself.
If you want a better relationship with your partner, you have to love yourself. If you want to attract an ideal partner you have to love yourself.
Think about it.
When I was a teenager I had a series of rubbish relationships. I was cheated on, became jealous, paranoid and felt unworthy of love. I didn't like who I was, so I was getting the men in my life to reinforce that belief.
I was in my 20s when I decided that I'd had enough and I focused on finding out more about me. What was I good at? What did I enjoy? What did I like about myself?
Once I could answer these questions I met my soulmate.
Our relationship is a good one. It's not like the ending of a Disney movie, it's better. I don't need to be swept off my feet because I can appreciate who I am. Any time I feel like I'm not getting the love or attention I want, I know it's down to me. I take time out to remember what I'm good at and to appreciate who I am.
I used to think that this behaviour was selfish, arrogant or big-headed.
Loving yourself isn't selfish, it's self-preservation.
It's like putting your oxygen mask on first, so that you can then help others.
So, if you need some love this Valentine's Day I'd encourage you to chill out and focus on you. Remind yourself what makes you happy and do it. Look at what's good about being you and celebrate it. Appreciate who you've become and accept your uniqueness.
Only then can you get the love that you deserve.