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.
What is your definition of self love?
Some day I will petition the dictionary people to change the definition for self-love, but for now to set the record straight, here’s a truthful definition for self-love: Self-love is the unconditional love and respect you have for yourself that is so deep, so solid, so unwavering that you choose only situations and relationships – including the one you have with yourself – that reflect that same unconditional love and respect.
In our culture, there are a lot of words other than self-love that people are much more comfortable using – self-esteem, self-awareness, self-care, self-worth, self-compassion – words that many people mistakenly believe are the same as self-love. While all the ideas expressed by these words are components of self-love, none alone is a synonym for self-love. Love is a specific, un-paralleled, and all-powerful vibration, and none of these aspects of self-love has that power on their own – but put them together and WOW! You’ve got a tree of self-love!
Is it possible to really love someone, if you don’t love yourself?
There are two answers to this question. First, loving yourself isn’t some destination you arrive at or some achievement you cross off the list. Self-love is commitment and a practice that you choose or don't choose in many moments every day. What happens for most women, who have been living by the Self-Sacrifice Handbook, is they are so busy giving love in its many forms to others – care, compassion, appreciation, acknowledgement, tending to their happiness – that they give more love than they have to give. They empty out their ‘love account’ if you will. And when that happens, because their self-worth is so tied to giving to everyone else, they keep giving but instead of giving from love, they give from obligation, resentment, guilt, fear and all kinds of other energies that aren’t love.
Secondly, without strong self-respect and self-honor (one branch on the self-love tree) you create unhealthy romantic relationships based on conditional love. This kind of relationship has love in it, but it’s love that’s been tainted with all kinds of conditions, pain, and generally yucky stuff that isn’t pure love. To have healthy relationships with others, you need a healthy branch of self-respect and self-honor, which comes only when you can make and keep this self-love promise, the premise of my first book Choosing ME before WE… I invite you all to take it now:
“I will never settle for less than my heart and soul desire.”
Christine Arylo, M.B.A., is an inspirational catalyst, teacher and self-love author who teaches people how to put their most important partnership first, the one with themselves, so that they can create the life their souls crave. The popular author of the go-to book on relationships Choosing ME before WE and the self-love handbook, Madly in Love with ME, the Daring Adventure to Becoming Your Own Best Friend, she’s affectionately known as the “Queen of Self-Love.” Arylo founded the international day of self-love on Feb 13th and is the co-founder of the self-love and empowerment school for women, Inner Mean Girl Reform School. www.ChristineArylo.com www.ChooseSelfLove.com