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Valentine’s Day is an interesting idea. We celebrate – what? Being in a relationship? Being in love? Being attached to someone? I’m actually not sure either.

Here’s a startling stat from the Huffington Post: “In the battle for most consumerist holiday, Valentine’s Day beat Halloween by a landslide this year, with Americans expecting to spend $17.6 billion on candy, balloons, paper cards and other tokens of love that don’t last forever.”

Love is an enduring, all encompassing thing. And it doesn’t only involve feeling good. Often times, love brings up the opposite of itself in order to show us our shadow, our darkness, in order that we may bring in more light and evolve our consciousness. We get confused and think that love is only supposed to feel GOOD. This is a myth. So then what happens is we quit relationships that seem too difficult, get divorced or we think our lives are just full of pain. I’m not saying that it’s not healthy to let go of things that aren’t healthy or no longer serve us or stay in a relationship past its relevancy in our lives. We must have discernment. In reality, love is surrounding you and enveloping you in its embrace, giving you countless opportunities to wake up to your true nature, even if the path is through painful experiences. We also get confused and think that once we find love, everything will be perfect.

Having a boyfriend or girlfriend, husband or wife is not going to make all the pieces of your life fit into place. You must cultivate your life for the JOY of cultivating it, not for anyone else’s approval or love. This is SO important and I coach a lot of my clients on this. Many of my clients struggle with this aspect – doing things for them and them only. Sometimes we think that once we lose weight or once we shed belly fat or once we’re engaged or are in a relationship, everything will be okay. This is absolutely not true. It is about becoming the fullest expression of yourself because you were put on earth to do so and you are a child of the Universe. It is NOT about creating the ILLUSION of a healthy, balanced life so you can then post about it on Facebook or because your life will be picture-perfect. It is about actually getting out there and doing it for YOU. There’s a quote that I love- “Relax, nothing is under control.” Once we let go of this idea that our lives will someday be perfect or that some day we’ll be happy when this or that happens for us, we can start to live in the present and nourish and care for ourselves in the moment.

So whatever our relationship “status,” we must understand two things. First, that the expectations we place around love and relationships are just a figment of our minds. The mind and its expectations create a lot of suffering for us. When we let go of the expectations we have around another person or ourselves, we can be present with the love itself and accept it for what it is, even if it’s painful. And second, that it is our responsibility to love ourselves enough to create a life we are exuberant about. This is your responsibility and yours alone and is a reflection of your self-esteem. No one else is responsible for your happiness but you. When you live your life with joy and purpose and see who shows up, you will have lots of love in your life, romantic or not. Then, Valentine’s Day just becomes one of many days that you can celebrate love.

Like what you read? Then you’ll really love Jenna’s free Valentine’s Day teleclass on Wednesday February 12 at 4 pm Pacific, called “Loving Yourself, Simplified.” Sign up here.

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Jenna is a board certified holistic health coach and yoga teacher and is the health and wellness expert for the global yoga community. She presents workshops and classes regularly at Google and at yoga studios around the San Francisco Bay Area. She helps her clients have more energy, lose weight without dieting, curb sugar cravings, and heal their relationship with food. She combines western holistic nutrition and eastern philosophy to maximize her clients’ transformations.

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