You can tell me that it sucks or that it’s not fair. You might even tell me that it’s just plain sad. But I’m here to tell you that being single on the day we celebrate love is one of the greatest gifts you can ever give yourself.

Romantic relationships before marriage are meant to break our hearts; they’re meant to make us cry. Because from that brokenness we get to mend ourselves piece by piece and rely on our own strengths, growing them in the process. Healing from heartbreak clothes us in dignity and strength, creating clarity without fear for the future. If you still think I’ve got a few screws loose, just give me a few minutes and read to the end before you decide.

So here it is. The truth about being single on Valentine’s Day: You get to celebrate and love the person in the mirror who has been through so much and is still standing. You get to claim victory over the fact that you don’t need the reassurance of a romantic relationship to get through tough times. You get to love every flawed part of yourself that has brought you to where you are standing. Because you don’t need reassuring words to know your self-worth. You get to buy yourself chocolates and flowers because you didn’t need to step on someone else to rise after falling. Instead you used the support you had access to — and most importantly the sustenance within — in order to rise an 8th time after you’ve fallen for the 7th.

Most of my life, I’ve believed that I will one day meet my prince charming. Getting older I realized it might not be an actual prince, but I still believed that I’d meet the absolute perfect match for me. I still believe that I will find the right person, but I no longer operate under the illusion that they are going to be perfect. Because love means knowing that someone doesn’t have to be perfect to be good. I no longer leave pieces of my heart with every potential person I talk to or build a friendship with.

I’ve realized, and hope to help you gain similar insight, that the heart is the most important organ. We should keep it with all vigilance, for from it flows the springs of life. As long as we believe that love means we need to give it — or pieces of it — away, we will live in drought. Instead of depriving ourselves from the full nourished life we deserve, why don’t we start by loving ourselves first? I don’t believe that two hearts become one during a relationship or marriage. I believe that two strong hearts begin to beat as one, in unison, to the same rhythm, creating a stronger spring from which lives in abundance flow.

Change your perspective this year. You are not ALONE for Valentine’s Day. You might be labelled as SINGLE, but ultimately you are in love with yourself and celebrating every minute that you get to spend deepening that love. You get to spend an entire day reminding yourself that your independence is a sign of strength and that your heart is beating stronger with the passing of every minute. Because one day you will meet the person whose heart matches your rhythm. And when you do, instead of handing over your heart, invite them into it and let them experience the overflow of love you’ve been experiencing every single day.

“Self-love is the source of all other loves.” —Pierre Cornielle

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