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Who Do You Love?

By Mary Foley

February, the month of love! The time when our culture sends messages of diamond jewelry, roses, chocolates and Victoria's Secret. Oh, to have all these things - well, to have one of these things - heck to even have a date, and we should be happy, right? That means we are loved. But many a Valentine's Day has come and gone with no jewelry, no roses, and no chocolate, and I personally like to shop at Victoria's Secret during a sale. Still, I believe our desire to be loved is THE thing we're all really after. Not just in February, either, but all year long.

Feeling loved takes different forms like acceptance, approval, and success. We want desperately to feel good about ourselves and for the world, especially a specific someone, to tell us we're loved. I know I've felt that way. I've also unknowingly absorbed the messages of our advertising culture that basically tell us to buy this, wear that and you'll get the love you want. It's all out there. Very few messages say look within, it's all in here.

But that's the truth: it is all inside. Like many, I have family, friends and a special someone who loves me. I've also had times of strained relationships where it was tough to give or receive much love. No matter my circumstances, I've learned that no one can give me love without me giving it to myself first. And no one can do that for me but me.

Being responsible for fulfilling our own need to know we're loved means not looking to other people in our lives to do the job. When they fail (which always happens in some way), hurt and blame often follow. At the same time, when we accept responsibility for loving ourselves we sometimes feel selfish. Filling up our tank means we need to spend time focusing on ourselves. The good girl inside says always give to others first before taking care of yourself. Well, again, the good girl isn't quite right. Instead, take some wisdom from the airplane safety message: "In case of loss of cabin air pressure, put your mask on first before helping others." Love yourself first and then you're best equipped to love and help others.

Take this designated month of love and like the song lyrics ask yourself "Who you do love?" Are you the first person who comes to mind? Perhaps it's time to make some internal adjustment. By loving yourself you give yourself and others the biggest gift possible. Now, that's bodacious.

About The Author

Mary Foley

During a successful, demanding, rising through the ranks 10 year career with America Online Mary learned that the only way to thrive in today's world is to be bold, positive, and courageous - bodacious! Today Mary inspires women everywhere to be bodacious in their lives, careers and businesses. You can be inspired, too! Get a free copy of Mary's e-book "Becoming a Bodacious Woman: The Essentials Every Woman Must Know" at http://www.gobodacious.com!

© 2006 Mary Foley, Bodacious Ventures, LLC.

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