4. Honor Your Body

I took a poll of my female friends about what they were most afraid of and their top answers were: being lonely, not alone; being taken advantage of personally and professionally; and lack of financial and emotional support. As a result, this is how I concluded that women fear not having safety and security.

As girls we’re taught that we’re to be protected, not be the protectors. But as life would have it, too many have been forced to protect ourselves, our children, and our interests at all costs when no one else was there to do it.

Whether you’re alone, or on a hot date on Valentine’s Day, don’t allow the fear of being alone kill you.  We may all know the facts about protecting ourselves from STDs. We may know that black women have the fastest growing rates of HIV and more. But if we’re really honest, knowing the facts isn’t enough. Sometimes we become repeat offenders when it comes to making bad sexual choices. We give others control over our sexual heath in the name of lust, love, trust and commitment. It’s sad, but unfortunately people transmit diseases– knowingly and unknowingly.

Before we make unsafe sexual decisions, we need to evaluate whether we love ourselves more than we love the partner who may or may not have our best interest at heart. When we choose to have unprotected sex, maybe it’s because we don’t want to make our lover feel uncomfortable, or feel that we don’t trust them by requiring the use of a condom. Maybe we don’t want to kill the mood. Maybe our desire for sex or to feel close to someone outweighs our common sense. But what about self-preservation?  At what point do our lives, what we need and what is healthy and safe for us take top priority? And, if not at the most intimate of moments, then when?

Such concern for everyone else’s well-being could ruin your life. But one smart decision to protect yourself could save your own. When you wrap something up, it’s an indication that what’s inside is precious in some way. When you’re completely uncovered, you’re exposed to the elements. It suggests little value. You teach others how to treat you by how you treat yourself. Wrap up. If you don’t care, why should they?


5. Forgive Yourself

It’s easy to point the finger at others and sing the how-you-done-me-wrong-song.  But at the point of healing and acceptance, we must all look at the roles we play. That may be as simple as continuing to punish ourselves as a result of someone else’s actions.  We seemingly protect ourselves by closing our hearts off from love, expecting the worse from others, looking for things to go wrong, inviting that energy and ultimately self-sabotaging, the very thing that we want.

Forgiveness is a decision to let go of resentment and thoughts of revenge. The act that hurt or offended you might always remain a part of your life, but forgiveness can lessen its grip on you and help you focus on other positive parts of your life. Forgiveness can even lead to feelings of understanding, empathy and compassion for the one who hurt you; and more importantly, you.  Forgiveness brings a kind of peace that helps you go on with life.

The benefits of forgiveness can lead to: healthier relationships; greater spiritual and psychological well-being, less anxiety, stress and hostility; lower blood pressure; fewer symptoms of depression; lower risk of alcohol and substance abuse. It’s time to release that heavy burden of resentment that you’ve been carrying around all of these years. We were not meant to live that way. Not one of us is perfect. Choose today to not be defined by what happened in the past. Give yourself and others the gift of forgiveness so that you can move forward in life.


6. Be the One

Just in case no buys you a fabulous gift for Valentine’s Day, it doesn’t mean that you can’t have one.  If you really want something, instead of waiting for someone to make it perfect for you – take the initiative and get what you want. Anything else that some adds is simply icing on your cake.

Everybody has an internal list of what they want, be it the ideal house, the ideal family, the ideal friends, the ideal job, the ideal income and so forth. Having ideals are natural and give us standards to live up to. While all of them may not be realistic, they ultimately give us something to reach for and help us to aim as high as possible.

After all, what’s wrong with wanting a wealthy, tall, dark and handsome man, who is madly in love with you, committed to you, considerate, fun and in shape? That’s a reasonable goal to have. There’s just one thing missing: the “you” factor. How close do you come to the ideals that you require of others?

You want someone to wine and dine you, to be creative and thoughtful. That’s great, and you deserve that. Now, what are you willing to do? Do you cook? What about planning a nice picnic, going to the spa together, to a play or the museum? Make sure you’re giving in the romantic department based upon your partner’s likes and interests.

By the way, don’t be the person who wants a good kisser but your lips are crusty. Say it with me: Moisturize. Be the one to create the romance.


7. Touch Yourself

Dr. Jeff Gardere is known as America’s psychologist so I asked Dr. Jeff: what type of emotional benefits, if any, does self-pleasuring have for a woman?

Here’s what he shared: “For women in particular, it helps them to get comfortable. They can learn a lot about who they are and are able to have more control of their bodies. Women are battling the prim and proper stereotypes. Women don’t need to feel shame; it’s about being in control of your own body. Also, it helps with anxiety reduction.”

Because we are in control of our bodies when we touch ourselves to the point of satisfaction, we can learn a lot about who we are and foster emotional healing.

According to some sexuality experts, here are more benefits:

  • It helps relieve depressive emotions. As we become aroused, the hormone levels of dopamine and epinephrine soar in our bodies. Both of these hormones are mood-boosters. Many studies show that women who report personal satisfaction with their sex lives live a better quality of life overall.
  • It strengthens our relationship with ourselves. When we know, love, and nurture ourselves on emotional and physical levels, we gain confidence and grow through self-awareness.
  • It strengthens your sexual relationship with your partner. Many couples have different sexual drives and needs. It is one way to meet personal needs not met by a partner. It can be shared with a partner. It can also teach you what methods your partner prefers. It can also open the lines of communication between partners who otherwise might be assuming that the “routine” is still working.

Bottom-line: If it’s not your job to get in touch with yourself; then whose responsibility is it? Be willing to get deep enough with yourself to explore what works for you. You may discover something beautiful and satisfying in your V-spot.

Enjoy the gift of YOU!

Deya “Direct” Smith is the best-selling author of “Touch Yourself, 30 Ways to Live, Love and Let Go!” (www.touchmebooks.com). Deya is a life-changing coach, blogger, speaker, producer and host. If you have questions about life, love or relationships email DeyaDirect@aol.com.  Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @DeyaDirect.  Find her at www.Deyadirect.net

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