Christine Arylo talks about her new book Madly in Love with ME. It’s sad but many people have very low self-esteem and struggle with loving themselves. Arylo discusses how to find and embrace self love, so you can be a better individual.
Have you ever had self love/self acceptance issues?
10 years ago I found myself face to face with a really hard truth – I was a woman who had lots of self esteem and self confidence, but who didn’t love herself. If you had asked me back then I loved myself, I would have told you YES! and that would have been a lie. Not because I was a liar, but because I had no idea what self-love really was, and how so many of my life choices were being made from a lack of self-love.
For example, while my high self-esteem helped me excel in school, climb the corporate ladder and show up confidently and strong, my lack of self-compassion (one of the other 10 branches of self-love) led me to be really hard on herself. No matter how much I did or achieved, it was never good enough. My low self-pleasure meant that I worked really hard but never stopped to enjoy or take in what I had actually accomplished. My lack of self-honor, led me to stay in the wrong relationship for 14 years and almost give up my dreams to keep the love of a man. And my lack of self-acceptance drove me daily into the toxic habit of comparing my worst to everyone else’ best.
What was the inspiration/driving force behind Madly in Love with Me?
Most of us have some idea that loving ourselves would be a good thing, but most of us have no idea how to ‘do’ self-love. It feels so vast, and esoteric or like something you should keep under wraps. Women don’t know where to start, or how to make loving themselves a tangible reality without feeling guilty or like they are somehow going to be seen as selfish. Most women also know that they should be loving themselves – caring for, being compassionate with, appreciating – but they can’t give themselves permission to do so. Madly in Love with ME is the permission slip, the official guidebook and the daring adventure to loving yourself, for real and for keeps.
I believe that if each of us as adults can remember how to love ourselves, and actually live and act from a place of self-love, then we can teach our children to do the same. And in the process create a world in which every child born is born connected to love (which we all are) and stay connected to that love, because they know how to love themselves. Self-love is the answer to ending so many of the issues we see in women and girls today – depression, eating disorders, abusive relationships, stress induced illnesses – and it all starts with each of us truly loving ourselves.
What does madly in love with me mean?
Madly in Love with ME is more than just a book, it is an international social change movement, a call and an invitation to every woman alive today to take a stand for every child and woman in this world, including ourselves, to say: “Enough with the self-criticism, self-hate, self-abuse, and self-neglect. Enough with the unrealistic measures of what a happy and successful woman looks like. Enough with being treated by anyone with anything less than respect and unconditional love.” It is a giant permission slip for every single one of us to fall madly in love with ourselves. And yes, I mean madly, as in expressing the love you have for yourself without shame, apology or holding back.
We actually have an entire Madly in Love with ME Manifesta which you can download at www.ChooseSelfLove.com in three languages (and we are always welcoming other translations!)
Why do you think it’s so hard for others to say I love me?
Self-love is so misunderstood. If you looked self-love up in the dictionary, it is defined as conceit, vanity and narcissism but whoever came up that definition has it all wrong. People who do suffer from narcissism or excess vanity actually lack love for themselves. Their extreme self-centeredness and unawareness of their impact on others is really a cover for a deep sense of inferiority, a fear of connection and a low self-worth. Thankfully, narcissism isn’t contagious and most people don’t need to worry about being too selfish. If anything, they need to give to themselves more.
Loving yourself is the same as loving another person, the energy of love is just pointed in a different direction. Think of it this way, you’d never say loving your parents or friends was selfish, and neither is giving love to yourself. Imagine giving love to someone in your life that you deeply care about. Notice how good it feels to give love to that person – in all kinds of ways including affection, caring, acknowledgement, honor, compassion, etc. Now imagine taking that same energy and directing the love at yourself – giving yourself affection, care, acknowledgement, honor, compassion, etc. Same energy. Love is never selfish.