You Just Gotta Give it to Yourself



Years ago I was in my therapist’s office dreading the oncoming Day From Hell. It wasn’t surgery nor was I losing my job. It was that damned Valentine’s Day and I was once again, loveless in Seattle. OK, Maine…but it was winter!. 


Handing me a box of Kleenex to get rid of raccoon eyes from sobbing, it was as if she wanted to finish me off. “You know, Donna, you have to love yourself. No man can give you what you want. Only you can give that to yourself.” I was livid! Having spent my childhood taking care of siblings and parents, I was tired of loving myself. I wanted the Prince, the horse, the slipper, the castle and no responsibility for anything. I wanted to be taken care of for once, and actually…forever.


How many of us still long for that? I am embarrassed to admit it, but there is always a part of me that hopes he will arrive tomorrow or at least before this Valentine’s Day. Swept up, astride a horse, riding off into the sunset, the Baja, the Bahamas…heck, I would settle for Napa Valley and a weekend in the hot springs.


This year, no Prince. And, thank God I still believe in love even when this trumped up holiday draws a line in the sand for the “haves” and the “have-nots”. That therapist gave me the one vital piece to the puzzle in how to enjoy my life. When I am not in the arms of a man I love, I wrap my arms around my sweet self. I invite those I love to join me for a slumber party, a chick flick and a great bottle of wine. I don’t need a prince to feel the love. It is all around me.


Looking for Love or for Happiness?




Sometimes the two come together in the form of two people who meet, fall in love and decide to be together sometimes for life, and other times for whatever period of their lives they share. But have we short-changed what happiness means?



Every year as Valentine’s Day approaches, and that begins for Hallmark the day after Christmas, our unconscious kicks into overdrive. Visions of hearts, chocolates, champagne…memories of red construction paper hearts with lace borders made from doilies and for some of us,shoe boxes covered in crisp red tissue paper, the top with a hole in it just big enough for our classmates to put a tiny valentine inside (or not!). With those images, our sweet little hearts remember the pain associated with times when we were disappointed in love. And, more importantly, amnesia sets in at least until that miserable February 14 has finally passed.


It’s hard to ignore the marketing definition and images of what love is. The good news is that we can turn that around by overriding those old memories with our newer and more accurate definition of love and happiness. It’s really simple when you are ready to move past the formula that Love=Happiness and that Happiness=Being in Love.


Here’s how to have a happy Valentine’s Day this year even if you haven’t found your special person yet. It’s low budget and you don’t have to go to a spa or Maui. All it takes is a sheet of paper and a pen.


Think of all the people in your life that you love and those that may no longer be a part of your day to day life that you once loved. List every single one of them! Then, remember places you have been, things that you have seen in the past few months that brought you joy and happiness. Don’t forget the tiny things…hummingbird2





and the big things that are yours for the taking every day of your life. If you are a music lover, list the artists, tunes , instruments, tones, memories of concerts that felt ecstatic and feel like eating  dessert when you hear them. Now, think of desserts (no fair including anything like cholesterol, organic or not, calories) that are the next best thing to an orgasm. Make a list of them!


There’s no shortage of happiness. There’s always an abundance of love. You just have to take time to remember!


If this is helpful to you, or you know someone who feels alone this Valentine’s week, post this on your Social Media page please.

My New Year’s Wish for You


“There is nothing I can give you

which you do do have not:

But there is much, very much, that

while I cannot give it, you can take.




No heaven can come to us unless our hearts

find rest in today. Take heaven!

No peace lies in the future which is not hidden

in this present instant. Take peace!


The gloom of the world is but a shadow.

Behind it, yet within reach, is joy.

There is a radiance and glory in the darkness, could

we but see,

and to see, we have only to look.  I beseech you

to look.”


_Fra Giovanni


See the joy in this wonderful new year!

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