Inspiration Report

Inspiration Report

Christine Arylo on Learning to Love Yourself after Loss

I recently spoke with Christine Arylo, the author of Choosing Me Before We, and… can I say wow! She really is the “Queen of Self-Love”. She devotes her life to teaching women how to love themselves in order to find happiness and wholeness not only in their relationships, but also in their lives. You can read the article here.

We spoke for a good half hour and not everything could make it into the article, so I’ve got a bonus feature for you.  In reading your comments over the last few months, I know many of you are grieving the loss of a spouse. Whether it’s through death or divorce, the pain is excruciating and it can leave you with a damaged sense of self — like, “Who am I now that he/she is gone?”


Christine coaches people throughout the year through her speaking engagements and workshops. I asked her, what is the best piece of advice you can give people to recover from heartbreak and here’s what she told me.

Well, a couple things I would say. One, whenever you go from being two to being one, it’s definitely an opportunity to really come back to yourself. So my first piece of advice to people (and I don’t say advice, but my learnings I offer to people) is to make that commitment to yourself to fall in love with yourself.

I’m a big believer in making self-love promises, because I believe when we make a promise to ourselves, we’re much more likely to keep it. Often I only think of promises and vows in relationship to other people. So I know for me making a vow I’m going to follow up with myself for the rest of my life really gave me permission to become my own best friend. It gave me permission to date myself. It gave me permission to go on a journey to understand who am I outside of any other relationship.


It’s a quality that I refer to as sovereignty, and actually I call it the feminine superpower of sovereignty. Sovereignty is really being able to be whole within yourself. [In Greek mythology], it’s correlated to the goddess Artemis. Artemis was Zeus’ daughter and she basically said to her dad, ‘I want to be a virgin and live in the forest and do my thing.’ To be a virgin at that time meant to just not be controlled by any man, to be your own person. So she did. She was her own person. She had many lovers and she had many children, all of that. But she was her own person. She could take care of herself. So there’s a thing I think that happens and I’ve seen it with the women, who I’ve watched either get divorced or have lost their husbands, where they take this journey back to self-love with sovereignty to discover themselves.


Another way would be to get connected to other women. I think that especially for my generation and the generation that you’re talking about in their 50s and 60s, we are so separated from other women. There’s something about being in circles with other women whether it’s a retreat or it’s a group or in any kind of community setting where you can be with other women and share your journey. Such healing and such self-awareness happens because you start to see yourself in other people. That’s why I do a lot of group coaching, because I know the power.

Then I would say to people to go back to who you were when you were a little girl and remember the things that you loved before anyone told you that you can’t or you shouldn’t. Go back to those things that you just inherently were drawn to. Start doing those again. It’s a real opportunity for liberation going back to when we were little to find those places in ourselves that we have shut off for a long time.


For more, read Christine Arylo: How to Fall in Love with Yourself

  • Cindy

    Thank you for this wonderful post. Having gone through several losses in my life – a hysterectomy at age 28, a divorce (abandonment, really) and a recent death – I must agree with Ms. Arylo about the importance of rediscovering those simple things that gave us joy as a small child. While it is nice to share experiences, most things that give us pleasure in life can certainly be enjoyed alone – and nature is one of them. The warm sunshine, a magnificent flower, or watching a mom and baby bird is all it takes to remind me that life is here for me to enjoy – no matter my marital status or circumstances. Best, Cindy

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Erica

    Thank you for this post. I learned this lesson years ago, after a break up with an ex-fiance. In that relationship I was so unhappy I completely lost sight of who I was. He broke it off with me and I could not be more thankful, but after I was completely lost and so angry with myself for putting his needs before my own. I learned that I am responsible for my own happiness. That I whole on my own and I that no one person can complete me nor would I want them to. That there are 3 entities in a relationship, two independent individuals and a “we”.

    As I found myself I felt better and better about me. I got my cofidence back and began dating again, this lesson was a major factor in sizing up the prospects. I knew that I wanted the person I wanted to spend the rest of my life to have their own independent interests, hobbies and goals. I wanted a person who was a good friend to others and has good friends and family so I knew that there world would be bigger than our relationship and thus would enrich our relationship. I sought this because it was the reflection of my own experience. I did not want to be my primary relationship to be my only relationship with all other realtionships being an extension of that one. I had learned to really enjoy my solitude. I eventually found the person and now that we are 9 days away from our first wedding anniversary this was a great reaffirmation of how to keep the years ahead happy. Particularly as I just said goodbye to my only remaining close friend and family member who lives near me. Most of my friends and all of my family are in bordering states 1hr-90 minutse away. Close enough to see them but not close enough to enjoy my former circle of friends pow wows- even if it was an impromptu dinner or running errands. This situation has left me feeling isolated and less happy, confident and upbeat. The mundane activities enjoyed with close friends, or being active in deeply personal hobbies that keep us sane and connected to ourselves and our individuality are incredibly important, have been dwindling and now are sorely lacking in my personal life. Without them, in spite of having the daily company of a wonderful husband and step daughter I have felt more lonely than ever and I have been dealing with it by eating and this of course has left me unhappy with my body, fitness level, etc… So your post reminds me that if things are to change, I am responsbile for changing them and I need to get to work on figuring out how to be fufilled for the sake of me, beyond working a million hours just to feel like I have something that is mine. I love my new family and enjoy their company but to keep it strong and healthy, I have to love myself more …”I KNOW THIS!!!” I have got to find a way to get grounded back in my own joy. The post was a well timed motivator to get focused back on me. When I am good to myself I am better for everyone around me. Thanks. Erica

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  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Mindy

    I lost both of my parents in 2009. Dad in June and mom in September. I’m still struggling deeply with “what am I supposed to do now” feelings. The losses are overwhelming true, but I would hope that I’d regain some sense of self by now. I’m floundering and it’s not a comfortable place to be. I was also primary caregiver…so I feel totally lost.

  • http://Lpss BJ

    My husband passed away months ago and right now I feel absolutely crippled. I was doing really good, but now I have tanked. I AM TRYING BUT IT IS SO HARD. He is and will always be my heart!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment kelli

    i agree that we need to learn to love ourselves, but when there are children involved there needs still have to come first over your own!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment kelli

    to me this article is trying to simplify how to deaj with loss. but there is no simple answer. we all deal with lifes tragedies in our own way. no one has the answers for everyone! christina gets to voice her opinion because of who she is. her advise will not work for alot of people with different lifestyles. many times there is no joy from our childhoods to go back to.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Freddie

    What if it is a Son or Brother you lost?

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Charlie Gonzalez

    Oh what a lovely article. Like soul medicine. Thank you for your kindness and wisdom in sharing with those like me who have struggled with emo pain from divorce. Blessings to Christine and healing to those who are in need. Lovingly..Carlos J. Gonzalez

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment renita walker

    hi, christine you’re telling folks to go back to that place when they were a little girl and find those things that helped them BUT!! what if these women cannot go back to when they were little girls. i know of a few girls who didnt really have much back then either to help them escape pain, problems, and mishaps. a lot of reasons why people are they way they are today stems from their childhood. it’s too bad parents dont realize how they’re messing their children up from childhood and the reason i say that is a parent is a child’s very first teacher not the teacher in grade school. the parents teaches that child how to lie, steal, be sneaky, smart, shy, bashful, outgoing, friendly, so if a woman cannot go back to her childhood what does she need to do?

  • Jen

    After loss in my life last year, I have spent this time in learning to love myself and honor who I am !

    I started a company- Must Love Journey which embraces whatever step will assist one to MUST LOVE themselves. It is my belief that it is in finding that piece of the puzzle that will restore our hearts – dissolve fear and hurts allowing Self Love ! The Must Love logo reminds us to find our LOVE !

  • http://learningtolovemyself alice lafleur

    what i have read on belief about loving myself again is truly a inspiration and a some great advice, its just the thing i needed today,thank you for the advice

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