February 2011 Archives
The secret to finding more love than
loss in your breakup
Without a doubt, breakups are sad. They
always include pain, even in the most agreeable splits. Pain is part
of the deal, but the struggle, drama and misery are totally optional.
In this article I am not going to tell you the secrets to avoiding
pain all together. That would just make me a liar and a bad friend.
Because the truth is that if you don't feel your pain, it will
still be there, lurking in the darkness, waiting to pounce on you at
some unanticipated, and usually unfortunate, moment (do you really
want mascara and tears streaming down your face in the grocery line?)
Or worse, throwing you into so-not-good-for-you relationships and
activities - such as the rebound date or cocktail binge that seemed
like a good idea before you realized that while they numbed the pain
for a while, more pain just came later.
Yes, you do need to mourn the loss of
the relationship... because something has died. But, you do not need
to wrapped yourself up in the uber painful belief that somehow this
ending equals a loss of love. That line of thinking only leads to one
place, the pit of misery. The truth is that you haven't lost love.
Love is indestructible, when you remember where to find it.
As a woman who has experienced the
devastating blow of a breakup of a 15-year relationship two hours
before her engagement party (ouch!), I can share with you the real
secret to breaking through to happiness and hope after a breakup:
Self-Love. It's always there. No one can take it from you. And it's
free. The biggest difference between people who blossom from the
experience of breakup and the people who just keep making the same
mistakes or never move on is the anchor point they choose. Do you
anchor in pain and the other person or do you keep yourself anchored
into self-love so that even on the 'bad' days you can pull
yourself forward out of the muck and into happiness and hope.
It's your choice as to whether you
want to touch the pain or live in it. Whether you want to transform
through this experience or regress because of it. The people I've
seen - including myself - who have transformed themselves because
of a breakup into a person who is even more true to who they are,
and therefore have created more love not less - took these 7
daring acts of self-love. I invite you to do the same:
Turn your focus and energy from
the other person to yourself. Stop reaching out to him or her for
love, and instead reach inside you for love.
Remember that yes, while there are
no longer two people in this relationship, there is still one, and
you are not going anywhere.
Realize that this breakup, while a
loss of connection, is not a loss of love.
Know that there is an abundance of
love in the world for you. Surround yourself with healthy love, a
Remember you are never alone. In
the moments when you feel lonely, remember you have you.
Remember that you are going
forward, you are not being left behind. Something in YOU is pulling
YOU forward into something new. Keep an eye on what that something
is, and move towards it.
Be completely honest with
yourself, no matter what. No story telling and no illusions. It is a
deep act of self-love to have unwavering honesty with yourself.
Most of all, remember that loss of any
kind is hard, so be gentle and compassionate with yourself. Love
yourself extra. Reach out and ask for love - in a healthy way -
often. Get hugged. And be with your feelings. It is possible to feel
both loss and happiness at the same time. Your loss does not define
you. Love defines you.
About Christine Arylo
Christine Arylo, an m.b.a. turned
writer, speaker and teacher, is an inspirational catalyst who teaches
women how to love themselves. She is the popular author of Choosing
ME before WE, Every Woman's Guide to Life and
Known as the "Queen of Self-Love," Arylo created Madly in Love
with ME, the international day of self-love (Feb 13), and a free
Self-Love kit dedicated to making self-love a tangible reality for
women and girls around the world. www.madlyinlovewithme.com
When I first met my husband Noah ten years ago, if you had met me, you would have thought to yourself, "Now here is a smart woman. She's getting her m.b.a., great job, confident. Here is a woman with tons of self esteem." And you would have been right. That was all true. Which is why what I am about to tell you is even more shocking.
By our third date, Noah was so taken aback by my big reactions towards his small acts of kindness, that he felt compelled to take me by the hands and say to me, "Christine, I don't know what is going to happen between the two of us, but regardless, you have to raise your standards for men. You can't like a man because he is nice to you. He is SUPPOSED to be nice to you!"
What??? My M.B.A. brain reeled in total confusion as if Noah had just proven to me that the world was actually flat. In all my 30+ years I had never considered the fact that the minimum bar of acceptance was a man who was nice to me. And like a time-stamped rolodex, my brain reeled back to all the not-so-nice behavior I had endured, experienced, and come to expect.
So yes, it was true, I was a mentally intelligent woman, but I was emotionally retarded. And as I looked around at many of my friends, I noticed a definite trend. Beautiful and well-liked women with successful careers who constantly chose men that didn't treat them with the unconditional respect and love they craved and deserved. Which, of course, just like me, made them chase them, want them, and change for them more.
Yes, we all had smarts. What we were missing was self-love.
What we didn't know was:
Unconditional Love and Respect in Your Relationships is NOT an Upgrade.
It's a Must.
While we all knew that we could do the job, get the grades and build the career, what we had failed to see was that unconditional love and respect was where our expectation bar for men should be sitting, and that in order to do that, we had to be able to give that same unconditional love and respect to ourselves.
Fortunately for me when I had this epiphany, I was three months into my now ten year journey of self-love, so I really took a step back and asked myself, 'How did I get to the age of 30 before I realized that men were supposed to be nice to me?' and 'What can I do to make sure I never sell myself short again?'
From one smart woman to another, who finally did learn to love herself, here is what I discovered:
3 reasons why we expect men to not be nice:
- Bad training. If you were lucky, your mother told you to expect men to be nice to you, or you were out of there. My mother, like most, never made it around to that talk. Not because she had some sick desire for me to suffer, she just didn't know this fact herself. Ignorance and tolerance are like bad family heirlooms passed down generation to generation. The good news is that you have the power to break the cycle whenever you choose.
- Set points were set with immature boys not good men. Our first experiences with the opposite sex in regards to the whole boyfriend/girlfriend dynamic are set on the playground, playing out adult dramas in totally childlike ways. One minute he's your boyfriend. Next, he's spitting spitballs at you. This continues through high school and college, so your brain creates set points that say this is the normal state to allow. Problem is, "spit balls" don't feel any better at the age of 27 or 37 than they did when you were 8
- Bad examples, everywhere. From the movies, tv shows, music and internet, it's a constant barrage of men being jackasses. This is bad rap for men, and bad input for you. Subconsciously your brain stores bad as normal (92% of the images you see go right around your conscious thoughts into your subconscious). Add your own personal experience of men - from family, friends and strangers - and you could see how your subconscious brain could form all kinds of thoughts you had no idea were there.
So What Do You Do? Choose Self-Love.
All of the bad programmings and low expectations can be reversed and avoided by changing one thing - your relationship to yourself. The truth is that every relationship you have is a direct reflection of the relationship you have with yourself. If you don't have unconditional love and respect for yourself, there is no way that you can expect it from someone else, which is quite often why you will settle for less.
In my book Choosing ME before WE, I talk about the 5-vows of self-love every woman must make with herself first, before she can have a loving relationship with another. Here are two of those vows. I invite you to take it and keep it, and honor the most important relationship you'll ever have - the one with you.
Self Love Promises:
- I honor myself.
- I never settle for less than my heart and soul desire.
- All of my relationships support me to be my best me and to live my dreams, or I don't have them.
- I give unconditional love and respect, and I expect it in return.
This doesn't mean that all of your relationships are perfect, void of difficulty, or that you are absolved of giving the same respect and love you desire. Unconditional love and respect go both ways. It also doesn't mean that you go cutting people out of your life without taking a good deep look at what you want from your relationships, what part you play in creating that relationship dynamic, and then taking steps to transform, let go or grow the relationships you currently have so that EVERY SINGLE ONE reflects that same unconditional love and respect you have for yourself.
Self-love requires that you choose me before we in every relationship, which is not about being a self-centered, narcissistic, its-all-about-me kind of person. What choosing me before we means is that because you have made a commitment to create what your heart and soul desire, you don't have space in your life for relationships that drag you down, hold you back, create negative ju ju feelings (like shame, guilt, self doubt) or take more energy than they give.
You are a beautiful woman. Be nice to yourself. And believe you are worth being nice to.
About Christine Arylo
Christine Arylo, an m.b.a. turned writer, speaker and teacher, is an inspirational catalyst who teaches women how to love themselves. A recovering achievement junkie and doing addict, Arylo is the co-founder of Inner Mean Girl Reform School and the popular author of Choosing ME before WE, Every Woman's Guide to Life and Love www.mebeforewe.com. Known as the "Queen of Self-Love," Arylo created Madly in Love with ME, the international day of self-love (Feb 13), dedicated to making self-love a tangible reality for women and girls around the world. www.madlyinlovewithme.com
Few of us would deny that self-love is a good idea. Could you imagine
telling a child, "Hey you, don't love yourself, that's selfish."
Of course not. And chances are that if asked, "Do you love
yourself?" most people would say, "Yes, of course I do," when
in fact the majority of us don't really have a clue what self-love
actually means, or requires.
This lack of understanding about self-love isn't surprising when you
consider that the current definition of self-love on dictionary.com
is 'conceit, vanity and narcissism' (no kidding!) Or when you
look at the pressures today's woman faces, equal to men in many
ways, knowing she can do anything, but exhausted by her attempts to
do and be everything.
As an independent, self-confident women with tons of self-esteem, I sure
thought I had self-love, until I found myself at the age of 30 almost
marrying Mr. Wrong because I was afraid to be alone. Add on how much
I hated my cellulite and called myself fat (I am a size 8), beat
myself up for everything that I didn't accomplish (I have my MBA
from one of the best business schools in the country), and drove
myself to exhaustion because 'resting' made me feel guilty, and I
had to stop and ask myself, "While I might have self-esteem, I am
surely missing something." And that something was self-love.
My definition of self-love is quite different than the dictionary.com
version - and it boils down to this: Do you have unconditional love
and respect for yourself? A big question for sure. Self-love can feel
so intangible and vast to attain, but there is a path, there are
milestones - I've experienced at least 5 of them myself over the
past 10 years. I call these milestones the gates of self-love. And
you can use them to see where you have load of self love and where
In honor of this February 13th, the international day of self love, I've created The Self Love Test to give you insight on where you are ready to grow more self love. My self-love dare to you is that on Feb 13th, you choose one gate of self-love and make that the gate you focus on this year. You can learn more about each gate as well as the vows and
hows of self-love in the free self-love kit at www.ChooseSelfLove.com For now, take this test and as you read about each gate, ask yourself, have I already passed through to the other side, or am I
still climbing my way up to new levels of self-love here? Then ask yourself, "If I was to choose one area of self-love to grow in 2011, what would that be?" Dare to choose self-love.
The 5 Gates of Self-Love
Gate #1: I know who I am and what I want from this life.
This is the first factor to loving yourself, because if you don't know who
you are, how can you love that person? Most of us go through life
doing what we think we are supposed to do and be, influenced by the
society around us. These experiences and people form our beliefs,
attitudes, and perceptions, until the day we realize that how we
really feel and think is different. While you will continue to learn
about yourself forever, self-love requires that a. You make a choice to live self-aware, b. You know you want from your life and you are not settling for less
than your heart and soul desire. c. You know who you are NOT, as well as who you are. d. You have healed your emotional gapers.
Gate #2: All of my relationships support me to be my best me and to live
the life I want, or I don't have them. This can be one of the hardest milestones, because it means setting boundaries and being honest about your relationships. It requires honoring yourself SO much that you only have relationships in your
life - friendships, romantic partners, even relatives - that give respect, trust, unconditional love and truth. You love and honor yourself so deeply that all relationships in your life make your life better, help you reach your dreams and be a better you. This doesn't
mean that the relationships are perfect, void of difficulty, or that you are absolved of giving the same respect you desire. What it does require is that you choose me before we in every relationship - let go of ones that don't serve you, change ones that have the potential to grow, and open up to let new ones come in.
Gate #3: My body is my temple. I recently took part in a survey in which 78% of women admitted that the thing they were hardest on themselves about was their body. Not a shocker, but sad. Let's face it, we are all guilty of body hate and what I call 'body slavery' - treating your body like a drive-me-til-I-drop workhorse, ignoring her needs completely. For me like I said, it was my cellulite. "Every time I sat down wearing
shorts it screamed at me, 'Here I am! Look at me!' After being tortured by it for years, I did a self-love practice of loving my cellulite. Every day, I told it, "I love you." I meditated daily,
visualizing my cellulite pockets being filled up with love. Today, I can't tell you if I have any less of it, but I do know that I very rarely notice it. And when I do, while I may not like my cellulite, I can love it. Its appearance now motivates me to walk more, instead of
hating my body for having it. Self-love requires that when you notice something about your body you don't like you choose love vs hate. Self-love also means shifting your relationship to your body from her being in servitude to you to you being grateful for this beautiful temple you get to inhabit while on this earth.
Gate #4: I am nice to myself. We are harder on ourselves than anyone else could ever be. In fact, if the outside world could hear the thoughts inside your head, they
would call the authorities. Every woman has an Inner Mean Girl inside of her spewing out rants like, "You are not enough. You should be able to get more done in a day. You
don't belong." She compares your worst to everyone else's best. Some call her the
inner critic, but she is way more personal than that! As part of your self-love journey, your job is to love this Inner Mean Girl to death, so that instead of hurting you with her self-sabotaging thoughts and habits, she can help you see how beautiful, powerful and whole you are right now, just because you are you.
Gate #5: I can and do take care of me without the guilt or burden. It's like we have a DNA pattern that says take care of everyone else before you take care of you, and if we try to buck that pattern by actually taking care of ourselves, we can't help but feel guilty or like we should be doing something more productive. This self-love milestone means being able to say, "Yes... I make self care a must, not a nice to do... I take care of me without feeling guilt... I meditate, relax, or take a walk and see it as productive time vs
wasting time. I am aware of what I need, I am make sure I receive it.
Love is a practice. Start by practicing on you.
Choose Self-Love this February 13th.
Visit www.madlyinlovewithme.com to get your free Self-Love Kit
About Christine Arylo
A new kind of self-love expert, Christine Arylo takes a fresh approach to redefining and teaching self-love. Popular author of Choosing ME before WE, Arylo is also the founder of Madly in Love with ME™, an international self-love movement, and Inner Mean Girl Reform School, a place where women come to learn how to stop being so hard on themselves. Visit her at www.daretoliveyou.com.