baby-heartby Carolyn Ellis

Love is in the air particularly in February, whipped up by Hallmark Cards, rose sellers and chocolate vendors for the impending Valentine s Day frenzy. How are you feeling about it? Valentine s Day has become a milestone by which most people stop and take stock of the loving relationships they have.

Last year I entered Valentine season with dread. My heart was still aching and devastated in the aftermath of a recent break-up. Yet this year I feel completely different. Why? Because I have a powerful new love in my life.

I had been dancing with this particular relationship most of my life. Sure, at times I was fully committed and things would be good. But then issues would come up and I d retreat, hold out for more, start to settle for less, or judge this person totally insufficient to ever meet my needs. I m happy to announce that I ve made a lifetime commitment to nurturing and growing within this new relationship. And that relationship is with myself!

The most important love relationship you ll ever have is the one you have with yourself. Your ability to love and accept yourself unconditionally is key. I fundamentally believe the level of unconditional love, respect, acceptance and compassion we have for ourselves sets the foundation for the quality of relationship we can create with others. Yet so often we sabotage ourselves in the love department.

Here are some of the key ways NOT to experience true love, passion and joy.

1. Take Yourself For Granted

One of the biggest irritants in relationship is when your partner takes you for granted. So take care you re not falling into that trap yourself. Where are you taking yourself for granted in your health, or the number of commitments you take on? Instead find a way to feel deep appreciation and gratitude for the fact that you are here, in this life, on this planet, at this time in our history. We all have some important gift to deliver, and it s only through a discipline of mindful appreciation that we can tap into those gifts.

2. Talk Down to Yourself

What would it sound like if you could listen to your inner dialogue out loud, on your mp3 player? For most people, you might never hear the diatribe of negativity, criticism and judgment that goes on in our heads, except perhaps on a really rowdy episode of The Jerry Springer Show. Become aware about the thoughts you are thinking about yourself. Ask yourself, Is this thought serving me?

3. Looking at Greener Grass

Whether you re in a relationship and want more love and romance, or if you re single, a big trap is to compare yourself to others. For example, if you see a loving couple, do you witness that relationship and feel jealousy and longing? Or, could you instead look and say Yes, that s for me! I m totally open for that!

4. Let Your Self-Worth Depend on Other People

One of the biggest forms of sabotage I see is to rely on the goodwill, opinion or actions of others to determine your sense of self-worth. Becoming consumed by what others think is a big distraction from our fundamental responsibility to love and accept ourselves. Is it acknowledgement you re seeking? Give it to yourself. Is it tenderness? Go to the source, which is yourself.

5. Get Going When The Going Gets Tough

It s easy to be loving and kind when things are going your way. But what about when the going gets tough? Do you bring out the emotional bat? Do your self-doubts get stoked? True emotional freedom and personal power comes from loving yourself through the hard times. Often you need to stand in that heat, unwavering, to allow those old patterns and limiting beliefs to burn away and reveal who you truly are.

2009 Carolyn B. Ellis

From Sarah: Here’s info on Carolyn – I found her when my friend Allana Pratt sent me an email about her…loved this article. She lets you ask a free question on her site: Success Strategist, coach and author, Carolyn B. Ellis, is the founder of and Her mission is to empower others to turn adversity into opportunity so they can improve relationships, increase self-confidence and reach their highest potential. She is the award-winning author of The 7 Pitfalls of Single Parenting: What to Avoid to Help Your Children Thrive After Divorce. To receive your copy of her interview on the life-changing THRIVE Principles , visit

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