02/08/2012 08:02 pm ET | Updated Apr 09, 2012

Answer This Simple Question: Do You Love Yourself?

The question, "Do you love yourself?" is, in fact, not a simple question at all for possibly the majority of people on the planet. For many, it can be a terribly painful question.

As Valentine's Day looms just around the corner, we must all realize that the most important thing we can do is shower ourselves with love and attention. Don't expect or wait for someone else to do it. Instead, consider these three ways to be able to love yourself:

1) Realize You Are Whole:
If we are looking for someone or something outside ourselves to complete us, we will inevitably be disappointed, for wholeness can be experienced only within the self. If parts of you feel incomplete, send love to them and think about where the sense of incompleteness comes from. Reflect upon actions you could take and attitudes you could change to feel whole within.
You are whole and complete right now in this very moment. So keep in mind that when you want to know what the future holds, sometimes you totally miss the present moment you are supposed to be having and experiencing.

2) Beep. Beep. Beep. Back it up!:
We have to allow others the right not to accept our love. Sometimes we expend a lot of energy that doesn't seem to be returned in kind. We may be trying to reach a certain person to get his or her attention, gratitude, or love only to be ignored or even rejected completely. When this happens, take a step back and examine why we continue to give our best to those who are neither ready nor willing to accept it. Love and connectedness can come to us only when the other person desires the same thing and is open, not closed, to our energy.

If we experience repeated blockages in a relationship, we first need to withdraw our energy from it so that it can breathe and we can heal. Then we need to reconnect to our inner strength and reaffirm our value, our goodness, and our right to have genuinely loving relationships. Are your relationships generally fulfilling and energizing or frustrating and draining? Is there anyone in your life who is not accepting the energy you are sending? If so, ask yourself why you continue to put out the energy and engage in an uneven exchange? Allow the person the right not to receive your energy and reflect upon where you could better direct your effort. Learn the secret of how much to give and receive in your relationships.

3) Treat Yourself:

Treat yourself to a wonderful life. Treat yourself with kindness and compassion. You can also treat yourself with material items: Is there a pretty outfit or piece of jewelry you've had your eye on? Buy it for yourself! Would you love some fragrant flowers to make you happy? Send them to yourself! Last year, I had to pick out my own birthday card on behalf of my father who no longer drives because he wanted to make sure I received a card from him. Surprisingly enough, that was one of the most fun experiences of my life! I could be anything I wanted! And I'll tell you right now, according to that card, I'm apparently the most fabulous person I have ever met! Who knew?

We are on the earth to take care of ourselves first. Only then will we be able to truly care about another's well-being. Do you treat other people, even strangers, better than you treat yourself? We can be our own best friend or worst enemy... Which are you going to be?
Look in the mirror and say, "I love you" to yourself. Can you do it? Keep saying it over and over again. You may become very emotional and say it through your tears. This is healing. Now, you are all you need. You are truly perfect exactly as you are and can have, be and do whatever you choose for yourself.

Remember that the future is not ours to see, but it is ours to create. As you live in the present moment to the best of your ability, you create the future you were meant to have. Know that there is a magnificent plan for your life. Love yourself, and you give this unique plan permission to unfold.