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Giveaway and Author Interview: Choosing Me Before We

Note: This winners for this giveaway have already been chosen. Subscribe to Tiny Buddha for free daily or weekly emails and to learn about future giveaways!

The Winners:

We all have it: a voice inside our heads that tells us what we can and cannot do and undermines our self-esteem. Sometimes it’s cruel. Sometimes it’s condescending. Most of the time, it’s completely inaccurate.

If we’re not mindful, it can limit our ability to live peaceful, purposeful lives, guided by our interests and passions. We need to love ourselves to love our lives, and in order to love ourselves, we need to be good to ourselves.

Author and speaker Christine Arylo has made a career out of helping women develop self-love and silence their “inner mean girls.”

In 2001, Christine’s fiancé (and boyfriend of 15 years) confessed that he no longer loved her, on the way to their engagement party—and that he’d been cheating on her. After realizing she’d never learned to love herself, she embarked on a spiritual journey, and in the process, transformed herself and her life.

In her book Choosing ME before WE, Christine shares stories, insights, and exercises to help women come to know themselves and learn to put themselves first.

If you’ve ever felt stuck in an unfulfilling relationship (or recognized an unhealthy pattern  in your love life), this book may help you create meaningful change from the inside out.

The Giveaway

To enter to win 1 of 2 free copies of Choosing ME Before WE

  • Leave a comment below.
  • Tweet: RT @tinybuddha Book GIVEAWAY & Interview: Choosing ME Before WE http://bit.ly/KekqLh

If you don’t have a Twitter account, you can still enter by completing the first step. You can enter until midnight PST on Friday, June 22nd.

The Interview

 1. What motivated you to write this book?

After watching woman after woman I loved—smart women, beautiful women—struggle in relationships—divorced, stuck in unhappy relationships they couldn’t leave—my heart was breaking.

I had been that woman—overstayed in a 15-year relationship, unaware I was afraid of so many things that kept me stuck, not just in the wrong relationship but the wrong life. When I finally faced the truth of how that happened, what I realized was that I was a smart woman with a lot of self-esteem but without self-love.

That began a now decade long journey to fall in love with myself. Choosing ME before WE takes readers along the same journey to finally find love and a fabulous relationship by finding it first within themselves.

2. You start your book by sharing how your ex-boyfriend of 15 years broke up with you right before your engagement party—and then told you he’d been cheating for six months. What insight helped you the most in moving on?

I remember standing in my living room eight months after “the event.” I was still mad, hurt and running all kinds of b.s. stories through my mind about what had happened. How he was wrong and I was right.

There was this book sitting on my desk that jumped out at me. It had been there for months but I just saw it, and so I opened it up to see what message it had for me. I’ll never forget the words that changed my life and in an instant and allowed me to forgive my ex-person.

The pages read, “You cannot be angry with a person for hurting you because they were just being who they are. It was you who had other expectations of that person that must take the blame, for you expected them to be someone other than who they truly are.” Ouch. True. And Freeing.

3. You’re known as a self-love expert and transformational teacher. What are three things we couldn’t learn about you through a Google search?

That my first ever rock concert was Boy George and Culture Club—what can I say, I just love to dress up in costume!

I have two beautiful “goddess daughters” Lucy and Janey who I go to see every year for their birthdays. We take a whole day, bust them out of school, pick a theme, dress up, and spend the entire day loving them. Each year for their birthday I also write them a letter about who they are at that time, as well as about their mom, my best friend Anne, and the world. Someday in the future I will give it to them.

When I met my soul partner Noah, I was so freaked out by how much love he gave so freely, I tried to pawn him off on my sister! Too much love for my closed heart to take. Lucky I got over that.

4. What does it mean to choose “me” before “we”?

Some people think it means being selfish, which couldn’t be farther from the truth. It’s not choosing me instead of we. Choosing ME before WE is a message of self-empowerment, self-respect, and self-honor to say “I deserve to have only loving, respectful relationships in my life that support me in having the best, most happiest life I can.”

So often we choose relationships that don’t support our best selves or best lives, but stay because we “love” the person or because we aren’t complete and whole within ourselves. Choosing ME before WE says you have to choose love for yourself first, to look for love from yourself first, to take responsibility for having the life you came here to have—and that in that choice you will always make the best relationship choices for yourself and others, even when it’s hard.

5. Why do you think we beat ourselves up so easily and often?

We live in a society that has beat the belief “YOU ARE NOT ENOUGH” into our psyches since we could read a magazine or watch a reality TV show. Consumerism and materialism—which drive our culture—are all about making people feel like they don’t have enough, haven’t done enough, and are not enough as they are, so they will buy and consume more and look to the outside for answers and validation.

In this system, where your self-worth is tied to an external value system, you can never measure up, so you always feel like you are failing, falling behind, and not doing as well as every one else. Our orientation is to compare ourselves, not accept ourselves, and as soon as comparison comes up, you lose.

All of this makes us feel inadequate, unloved, and incapable, which we don’t want to express to others, and even to ourselves. So we stay quiet, thinking we are the only ones, when in truth almost all women—and girls—unfortunately in our society are extremely hard on themselves.

6. What would you say are the most important elements of self-care?

Asking yourself what you need and making sure you get it, without apology and without fail. Something so simple, that we hardly ever do, is stop every day to ask ourselves, “What do you need?” Really when was the last time you asked yourself that when you woke up in the morning or throughout the day?

Likely, you have asked others that way more than yourself. We have been programmed to give not receive. Self-care requires that you ask yourself everyday, “What do you need to receive today?”

I recommend doing this first thing in the morning before getting out of bed. Open your eyes, close your eyes, and then ask the question and listen to your inner wisdom for the answers. Whatever the answer is, you have to do that thing for yourself, no matter what.

Then throughout the day, ask yourself “What do you need?” in the moment, to stop and listen, and then follow through, regardless of what else is pulling on you for attention. This one practice can change your life. Try it for 40 days and see what happens!

7. I’ve heard a great deal about your “Inner Mean Girl Reform School.” What inspired you to create this?

There is a silent epidemic happening among women that we aren’t talking about, and that is robbing the spirits of our young girls in the process. We women silently beat ourselves up for everything we are not or haven’t done all the time.

And while you may not be able to see the black and blue marks on our bodies, if you were to look at our hearts and spirits, you would see them there. Lots of people talk about the inner critic and negative self-talk, but why I co-founded Inner Mean Girl Reform School with Amy Ahlers, author of Big Fat Lies Women Tell Themselves, is that it’s really much more personal and hurtful than the psychological theory of the inner critic.

When we are so hard on ourselves, it can feel like you are back in 7th grade being tormented by the mean girls. We noticed that when women came together and told the truth about what they were saying to themselves, and were able to name, draw, and embody their Inner Mean Girls as separate entities, great transformation occurred.

Women left bad relationships, lost 20 pounds, started new careers, moved to new cities, and, most of all, started to really give themselves a break—to really become compassionate and loving to themselves, releasing the perfection, comparison, unrealistic expectations, gossip, etc.

And this transformation meant they could make better decisions in their relationships, businesses, careers, health, and everything. My Inner Mean Girl, the Comparison Queen Mean Patty, almost robbed me of my joy and success when it came to publishing Choosing ME before WE.

When I transformed her into my talent scout instead of my comparison queen, I met Amy, and viola, now we have a school in which over 15,000 people have taken one of our classes and transformed their relationship with themselves tremendously.

8. What motivated you to focus your efforts on women specifically?

It was really a divine assignment. One day, standing in my living room, I began dancing with a friend who had just gone through a divorce and was having a really hard time. As we were dancing, a message dropped in and said, “You, Christine, go out and inspire and teach women and girls how to fall madly in love with themselves!”

I thought, me? What? Day by day, I listened and stepped into it, and now I am known as the Queen of Self-Love, the founder of Madly in Love with ME, and the creator of the international day of self-love on Feb 13th.

I believe that self-love is for everyone, and I always have a few brave men that take my programs, buy my books, and come to my talks—and I welcome that!

There is something magical that happens when women can witness other women. I know that if I can help the women, I can help the children, and if we can make sure our children are born in love with themselves and stay in love with themselves, then I we can create a world of love. That would be a great world to live in!

9. What is the main message you hope readers take away from this book?

The most important relationship you will ever have is the one with yourself. Know yourself, be honest with yourself, love yourself, and trust yourself—and never ever settle for less than your heart desire. You deserve to only have loving, respectful relationships, starting with the one with yourself!

Learn more about Choosing ME Before WE on Amazon.


FTC Disclosure: I receive complimentary books for reviews and interviews on tinybuddha.com, but I am not compensated for writing or obligated to write anything specific. I am an Amazon affiliate, meaning I earn a percentage of all books purchased through the links I provide on this site.

Avatar of Lori Deschene

About Lori Deschene

Tiny Buddha Founder Lori Deschene is the author of the Tiny Wisdom eBook series (which includes one free eBook) & co-founder of Recreate Your Life Story, an eCourse that helps you get unstuck & change your life. She's now seeking stories to include in her next book, 365 Tiny Love Challenges by Tiny Buddha. Click here to share your story! For inspiring posts and wisdom quotes, follow Tiny Buddha on Twitter & Facebook.

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  • http://crazyintrovert.com/ Glori | Crazy Introvert

    Self-love… Something I have to work on…
    I think it really starts with self-awareness. Knowing yourself and accepting who you are and working on your weaknesses are part or self-love. 
    Can you love yourself with knowing yourself first? 

  • K.

    I hear and read a lot about self development, self love, and positive outlook on life these days and wonder if women in all societies struggle with those issues or if it is an issue for particular cultures. I observe the strong tendency for comparison mainly in Western societies, and also in Asian cultures that have grown rapidly in terms of economic prosperity. But I wonder how it works for women in other cultures, especially in those where the role of mother, grannies, and aunties is stronger – let’s say in Africa or South America. Is self love and respect for oneself a matter of an upbringing by strong women?

  • Sherrihansen

    The quote that one can’t be angry at another person because they were being themselves and not who you wanted them to be really hit home for me regarding my own relationship end last year. Thank you.

  • Kirsten Funes

    Cannot wait to read this!!! After reading the interview, I believe this will be very enlightening for me!

  • Loribax

    Sometimes its difficult to discern what we really need….

  • Happy2012

    I think this is definitely a sign that I saw this article today.  I’ve been very frustrated, having a hard time letting go of a relationship and trusting that whatever is supposed to be, will be.  My wise friend keeps telling me I need to first focus on being better to myself before I worry about relationship…and then I saw this article today…so I definitely feel like I’m meant to read this book!

  • PaisleyCat

    Wow–It completely felt like you were sitting  here in my room talking to ME. I still, after years of trying to take care of me, still fall into the “not good enough” pit

  • Sarah Vogt

    Would love to read this!

  • Heathersrus

    Self love and acceptance has been an extremely big, and new, part of my life especially over the last few years. I’ve come to enjoy my own company, have become my own best friend, and I focus on myself and brightening and maintaining my inner light before anything else. But within the past week, I have been faced with a heartbreaking situation and not only am I having difficulty getting my head and heart around what is happening, but I’m also having a hard time uncovering my light that has been keeping me awake and grounded for so long.
    Although I’m having a hard time now, I do know that my light will continue to shine and get brighter and brighter until its brighter than ever. But even though I know that I will be okay, and even better, it doesn’t seem to make the pain or confusion go away.
    Thank you for you dedication in spreading self love and I look forward to reading this book in hopes to brighten my light again! :)

  • Manduhbear

    I’m thinking I could really use that!

  • Abinaya Kannan

    Me before We is absolutely true. There might be another guy who will replace that relationship, but absolutely NOBODY can fill the void for you. If we fail to maintain a healthy relationship that is willing to grow with ourselves, then we will never mature to be sensible or learn the value or meaning of relationships. The one that you maintain with yourself is like talking to the Lord, but the other important relationship is like being in heaven. There. You get the difference. :)
    Really wish to read the book!

  • Michele

    After 10 years of what was seemingly the most healthy and adult relationship I have ever been in, I was recently informed that he just wasn’t feeling it anymore.  I have always known (and thought I was keeping it well hidden) that I am horrible at taking care of myself and don’t always feel that I deserve that.  I would love to win, it seems to come at the perfect time. If not I still plan to purchase!   

  • Thetreegrows

    Wow! Inspired and inspiring article. Thank you for sharing it!

  • Deborah

    In the manner that I was raised, it was considered being selfish and conceited to have ‘self-love.  After a lifetime of choosing “we” over “me”, I must say the past 2 years of choosing ‘me’ are better that the previous 50 years of choosing ‘we’.  Go for it everyone! And don’t look back! Best wishes with your book, and all the best to you too Lori, hope your life is sweetening up a bit, Deborah R

  • joychristin

    I *love* Christine’s energy and message…I was raised in chaos and abuse, and that cycle continued in my life until I chose self-love…which then changed my entire life.  This book is a wonderful affirmation of my heart truths, and a reminder when doubt surfaces. 

    I used to “discipline” myself (not aware of it when I did it, but I can see it now)…when something went awry in a relationship or connection…Now I celebrate each moment fully, because there is always something delightful to *celebrate* :)

  • Sarah Quincey

    I definitely need to choose ‘me’ sometimes, I have a hard time realizing that I’m worth something.

  • Angel5406

    I definitely need this book.

  • Elizlucinda

    I am about to assume a position of authority which was previously occupied by the “boys” as I call them affectionately. I enjoyed the article thoroughly and it helped to give me some perspective. I don’t have to do things their way and I don’t have to do things perfectly. thanks for the boost to my self esteem!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=120000480 Carol Moulton

    My roommate and I would benefit from this book! We both find ourselves in relationships that end unhappily. We both agree we need to love ourselves first before letting anyone else into our lives. We are both professional women in our thirties who deserve nothing but the best in life :).

  • Terrimco

    This book was meant for me to read right now..at this very moment. All of these excerpts resonate with where I am in my life at this very moment. I’m wanting to leave a 12 year relationship to embark on my own spiritual journey..but am stuck helplessly feeling selfish. Thank you for writing this book to enlighten..aid women

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/April-Doenges/1525429033 April Doenges

    I love a copy of your book!  It’s healthy to take care of ourselves first! Thank you!

  • katie

    Wow!  How timely – just as I’m realising this is just what I need right now.  An affirming & inspiring post, ty

  • Oneredthread

    Such an important concept and so hard to remember in my day-to-day life.  

  • stacey

    I have always struggled with taking care of myself and then resenting others for it – which is lame – I know it’s my doing!  I could use this book!

  • Lv2terp

    This post is FANTASTIC!! I can’t wait to read the book! What a wonderful interview, with some wonderful points! Thank you Lori for sharing this person/wisdom today! :)

  • Cindi

    Everything happens for a reason.. I was most definitely meant to read this article and should I not be a winner today I will be purchasing the book! I’ve been struggling with self-esteem, self-image and self love and this struggle has started to affect everyone I love and care about the most. It is beginning to create trust issues in all my relationships, even with my spouse. And worst of all I am basically bottling everything up. A push in the right direction for me… can’t wait to learn more about loving & trusting myself and my intuition.

  • Brod0420

    Sounds all “TOO” familiar… Here I am going through emails and BAM I read this as if IT WAS MEANT TO BE…Thinking this must be a SIGN… You are talking about ME… Perfect Timing…There it’s in Black and White… Trying to tell ME something…Unemployed for the past 7months, difficulties, not even to mention relationships…how time has passed and here I am wanting, waiting and willfully expecting…CHOOSING ME before ME!!!

  • anonymous

    what a wonderful premise.  can’t wait to read the book!

  • Marissa

    Ditto for me. After 10 years of a healthy and seemingly honest relationship, the guy whom I considered my life partner and best friend admitted to me that he wasn’t in love with me anymore. It’s been almost 3 months now and each day is like skating uphill. He’s already dating new women; I’m not ready yet. I could really use this book too.

  • BJones

    Reading this book would be extremely important to my life right now. I am currently reading a similar book about being alone and how it doesn’t mean you’re lonely. Thanks!!

  • Linda

    This really resonates with me as I try to find my place in this world.  I just turned 40 and still feel baffled by the thought of loving myself.  No one is harder on me than me.  Something has got to change!  I just hope I have the courage to make those changes and can begin loving myself for who I am.

  • Amber

    Oh my god, as always with your site, this comes at the exact time I need it most.
    I’ve been the woman who remained in a dead marriage for 25 years because it was the right thing to do, for everyone else, then fought through the land of fear and uncertainty (still am) o breast cancer, and a less than quick brush with death himself… I still put we before me, and just yesterday while floating in a sea of tears I decided I have to rake care of me, stand up for me, and be the mama bear for me!!!
    Then I read this today!
    Thank you, thank you for being a life boat for girls like me, who really Really want to save ourselves if only we had the tools.
    <3 thank you

  • Donna@Gardens Eye View

    Perfect book every woman needs to read…can’t wait to get a copy…or win one :)

  • K Ray

    This sounds like a book we can all benefit from.  I absolutely love the concept of the “Inner Mean Girl Reform School”, so many women I have known could benefit from lessons learned there.  I will be recommending this book to my reading circle long before I actually get an opportunity to read it myself!!

  • Marsha

    I am deeply immersed in finding ME after the recent end of a long marriage where everything was WE or HE.  The wisdom of Christine Arylo is part of my healing and new growth.  I would LOVE to have a copy of this book!

  • Satrask

    Ive been on a personal journey for six months now, and am planning on being single for at least a year so I can focus on me. Sounds like a great book every woman should have! Thank you for the opportunity!

  • Rai

    I need to get my hands on this read. I have been feeling like I need to love me more but I’m just not sure I’m doing it the right way and would love to learn and understand loving me first

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GYQNFNPJ3N7K56JUMK24AXMYTI Erika

    My Husband and I are currently struggling right now – not with one another, but with the expectations and interference of those around us.  Today, when I read this article, I immediately forwarded it to my husband.  I don’t believe it is just relationships that make us lose ourselves, but it can often happen in families.  We are three weeks away from celebrating our 5th anniversary, and are in therapy not because we are unhappy, but because we are often in the midst of my in-laws not respecting one-another, us or themselves.  Just Saturday night, my husband asked if something was wrong with him that he was so hurt because nobody in his life seems to care about his, or my accomplishments.  He gets a promotion, nobody says a word.  He calls after noon on a family member’s birthday and gets yelled at for not caring enough to call earlier.  It’s exhausting and frustrating.

    When I saw the author reference a quote about it being our own fault for expecting a person’s behavior to be a certain way – things clicked.  I’m expecting them to care for me, or my husband because we are family.  But, that’s not the way life works, and we either work around it, or move on.  I’m excited to read this book and apply these lessons to this situation!!!

  • Heidilfishercpa2

    Sounds like a great book!! I am also working on self love and silencing the inner critic. I was wondering what was her self love source…books, people, her own determination?

  • Debbie Hines

    perfect timing! i am on a quest of self discovery and the universe is unveiling knowledge on a constant basis. for the first time in my adult life, after 30+ years and 3 marriages filled with abuse i am on my own.i have 3 grown children and 4 grandchildren, so add empty nester on top of it. i have recently been diagnosed with copd and that’s when i hit rock bottom. this year i decided enough already, did some attitude adjusting and have begun a new journey.it’s amazing how things can change when you put your heart and soul into it!

  • Resa

    LOVE to have a copy of this book!

  • Ashley P

    Wow, I would love to get a copy of this. The interview alone offers a lot of insight.

  • Jackie

    This is a well done interview. I’m sure the book will be very helpful and inspiring to many people.

  • Anon.

    Sounds to me like a fabulous book!! Can’t wait to read it someday! :)

  • Angie

    I am 40 years old. I’ve just gone through a nasty break-up that left me feeling purposeless, directionless, anxious, not worthy of love & very critical of myself about “where I currently ought to be” in life; you know, entrenched in a career, great house, great car, great this & great that.

    I’m also feeling very alone in the world. I am eager to read this book and to begin my process of self-love first before others.

  • Tierney

    I made the life decision six months ago after a horrible break up that I would committ to myself for the next year. I’m 3/4 of the way there and am learning so much about myself, but more importantly am making myself happy.I’m am learning to put my needs at the front of the line instead of the back. It’s a difficult journey, and I am struggling to keep this a priority. But everyday is a new chance!  Thank you so much for your words. I cannot wait to read your book! 

  • Jennifer Ramirez Johnson

    It is always difficult to 

  • Boxofchocolates

    A need-to-read for every woman above 14, I guess… Expectations, society, family, our own expectations… Take care of you before anyone else, I try to teach my daughter… And I try to show her by doing so: very difficult…

  • Janaroannestone

    Thank you for everything you do. You inspire me. Aloha.

  • Jessica

    I may still be young (22) but I know I have had a rough time choosing me over we. i find myself falling so fast and hard and then masking myself with what makes us happy rather than me. Along the way I have had a couple broken hearts and need to start experiencing life the way I see it. Growing up I knew I would have a hard time with relationships but as I’m getting older I’m realizing the struggles that lead me to these heart breaks. I am excited to read this book and maybe learn a think or two!

  • Jane Dugger

    My thoughts echo the other’s comments: wow, really needed this.  Thank you for sharing this book & offering a great giveaway.

  • Caberkenes

    I want this for my sis in law who is now dating after divorce & I want her to realize loving herself is most then the rest will come.

  • Shevel Marina

     This interview is very inspiring. I think we all need to be constantly reminded to honor our true feelings. Thank you

  • Loopsydoop77

    I would love to win :-) I give my heart and soul to everyone around me and yet am still unhappy with my life. I feel like I make everyone around me feel inadequate when it’s really just me. My children, my partner, my family, my self. Thank you for this post.

  • Bird_vat

    I’d love a copy of this book – the theme fits perfectly with the personal work I’ve been doing for the last 18 months, starting when my marriage nearly imploded. We’ve managed to save the marriage by taking care of ourselves as healthy individuals first, but I’m always looking for additional resources to help me strengthen my new priorities!

  • Carolyn

    Thank you for posting this. I have had my ups and downs just like everyone else and I have been trying to make the most of whatever comes into my life each and every day. Sometimes it is difficult to think about myself when there are so many others who need my help and love. This is a nice reminder to stay centered. Thanks again.

  • Vicki

    I am in a transformational process right now. This seems to come in front of me at a very good time. I would love to win a copy!!!

  • Genesis

    The words, “You cannot be angry with a person for hurting you because they were just being who they are. It was you who had other expectations of that person that must take the blame, for you expected them to be someone other than who they truly are” really resonated with me as I read them. I’m going through a breakup, and it is truly devestating. I too have been looking for all the answers – and this it seems, is the definitive one. Thank you for sharing!

  • Erica

    Definitely a sign that I saw this. The book actually popped up on my Nook as a recommendation. Its that isn’t a sign I dont know. I’m currently struggling with old habits and feelings and trying to discern if my “issues” are actually valid or just old ideas causing inner turmoil. Looking forward to this read because as a giving person I don’t know how to ask for what I need and not apologize. Thank you for writing this.

  • Marie_2828

    Because I need fresh air….

  • Teann

    Sounds like a great book! I would love to have a copy! :)

  • Rebecca

    Can’t wait to read the book!! We can all benefit from others’ wisdom, experience and truth. To listen and learn from wonderful spirits, is a gift!!

  • Janice Cochrane

    to learn to give to myself what is so easy to give to others…unconditional positive regard, compassion, validation….I need encouragement on this path….it is so easy to get caught up in the busyness of looking after the needs of others…..

  • mo toons

    This message really resonates with me, I often find myself in friendships where I can use this insight. I’d love to have a copy!

  • https://plus.google.com/u/0/?tab=mX#106362436058676791471/posts Corri

    Touches home! Would love to read the book.

  • Donna

    I am finding that every day brings a new enlightening experience.  I have been so “stuck” for years and last year I joined a local self-help group and have embarked on a journey of self-discovery.  It seems that one good thing just leads to another – case in point, being given a web site about control addiction and having that site lead me to another and then another.  And now to Christine Arylo’s book.  I am anxious to learn and live – in that order.  

  • Laura

    This is definitely something I need to learn, putting me before we! I would love to read this book!

  • Christy

    Amen, taking the first step, is the hardest. I could use that motivator right now! :)

  • http://twitter.com/omgahsam Sam t(-_-t)

    Sounds like an interesting book, I’d be glad to get a copy, but whether I get one or not (likely not), I will check it out anyways.

  • Cacee C

    Looking forward to reading the book!

  • Erinn

    Sounds great, sign me up!

  • http://optimalternative.com/ Mark B Hoover

    “You cannot be angry with a person for hurting you because they were just being who they are. It was you who had other expectations of that person that must take the blame, for you expected them to be someone other than who they truly are.” This is a keeper.

    Thanks.

  • http://twitter.com/BodhiGurl Amy

    This book sounds amazing, would love to win it! 

  • Kitty

    This book sounds like it has a lot of good strategies for helping women develop self-love and silence their “inner mean girls.” 

  • dreamey

    Wow!  This sounds like the book for me.  i do have a “mean girl” inside who is very tough on me.  Especially during those times when yet another relationship does not work out, and I find myself having to “pick myself up by my bootstraps” and start all over again.  Going through this yet again at age 45 after my recent 5-year relationship broke up.   Guess what I need is a lot more self love…and maybe this book can guide me through it.

  • DragonTat2

    Thank you for this book. 
    I am 58… it’s sad, life.

  • http://twitter.com/artsyjo jan

    I can’t wait to read this book. Sounds perfect!

  • Cqphotography

     “You cannot be angry with a person for hurting you because they were just being who they are. It was you who had other expectations of that person that must take the blame, for you expected them to be someone other than who they truly are.” this one really hit home.  So much so that  i sent it to my husband! I can’t wait to read the book.

  • Lindy Parsons

    I agree with Happy2012 that its a sign that i saw this today. The last few days I have been a jealous, self loathing, pain in the ass partner (usually im awesome!) and I’m feeling the need to be “validated” by partner – I feel like I need him to reassure me how beautiful, wonderful, clever, fantastic etc I am and how lucky he is to have me in his life. I KNOW ALL THAT, and i know that the only validation I need is by my own self….its like ive lost my MOJO :-). I would love to win this book – i need it!

  • Jo

    Sounds like a great book for my two daughters!!! 

  • Dolores

    Something that hits very close to home, I’d love to win this book! Thank you :)

  • Mel

    WOW.. just wow… I really need to read this book and I need to listen to its message!

  • Michele

    Pick me! Pick me! :o)

  • http://twitter.com/jazz2midnight C. Cameron

    I so used to limiting myself and being “realistic” this is a timely reminder that it’s in my head, not completely imposed from outside.

  • Meigs1

    What a great opportunity. Its serendipitous that I found this. God is good.

  • Whitetopaz17

    I have come across this post at the most beneficial time in my life!   I have just left a long term destructive relationship and cannot wait to read this book for helpful guidance in the coming days of my ‘second life’.   Thank you!

  • Denise

    I have been there in my life before.  Even though I have been in a loving marriage for 17 years now, I know a friend who might enjoy reading this book (after I do).  I would love to win a copy.  Thanks!

  • Kristi D

    This is something I struggle with every day. If I don’t win a copy, I will definitely be purchasing it. Either way, thank you for helping me find this book.

  • kcc

    i  so want this for a wonderful friend.  this is a real sticking pint in her life, and i want her to be as happy as she is amazing.  maybe this little book could give her a boost.

  • Elizabeth Kruger

    I was abused by my ex and had to have him removed from the country when he threatened to kill me and take our daughter and disappear (she was only months old at the time). Once he was gone I felt so strong and so beautiful and healthy and I met an amazing man. Months later, he met my daughter under the belief that we were solid and committed. Two weeks later, he left me. Only two days after valentines day. He said the reason was that he’d never be what she and I deserved bc he was exactly like my ex, but without the hitting women part. So, here I am still picking the same men I always have and the breakup/relationship completely obliterated all the self confidence I had found. I need to learn how to love me and be on my own.

  • Ariess tan

    your first love and last love is your self love:)

  • Emi Jacobs

    I’m still trying to get over someone who treated me badly for 5 years and I felt stuck and didn’t know how to get out. I have a hard time trusting men now but am working on forgiving him and myself and moving on. Love the concept of this book.

  • laughing_out_loud

    It’s funny how things come before you when you are experience a specific emotion.  I read the blog today and right away I knew that was something I had to work on.  I need to remind myself of how far I have come in the last few years.  I have achieved a lot. And I am now out of credit card debt which is a big achievement.!!!  Life isn’t about reaching the top; it is about change and making little achievable goals for yourself and taking one step at a time.  As I scrolled down and saw the book about putting me before we, I definitely knew that I had to read this book.  In my past and recent relationships I have always struggled to put me first.  And when the relationship gets stale or falls apart, I fall apart.  And the relationship I am currently in, isn’t working, but yet I find reasons to stay.  I definitely need to work on me before I can begin to work on we and so I should read this book.

  • http://thisiswanderlust.tumblr.com Becca

    I would love to read this book.  I think it would certainly help me as I have been struggling a lot lately as my health problems have taken a toll.  Nothing in my life is where I want it to be right now because of them and I need to find some clarity and hope.  

  • http://www.madlabpost.com/ Nicole/TheMadlabPost

    The principles covered here are useful. I wonder how many ways people have celebrates that  self-love day in February. I think that if children are taught to love themselves and are surrounding my love and brought up on a loving foundation, they can carry that into adulthood. Silencing the inner mean girl can be such as challenge once the teenage years arrive and beyond, if that loving foundation is not present. Maybe one way for women to change the practice of going along with what’s expected of them with regards to giving and receiving is to approach it a different way…by still giving, but giving to ourselves first….I suppose.

  • zackcat

    Sounds like a great book and one that most women I know, including myself, could benefit from. 

  • MK

    Thank you for sharing your insights. Seems like this resonates with many of us!

  • somertime

    I think this is another sign.. for everything I am going through.. I am pregnant with triplets.. and he decide to leave after telling him I was pregnant.. I told him after I found out that there was three and he simply said if he had the choice I would of had an abortion and is wanting to sign over all his parental rights to me.. I need to find ME before I could ever find someone to be a “WE” with..

  • Gwen

    I need changes in my life. Maybe a book like this one can help. I would love to win it, but if I don’t, thank you for the information about it. I would love to read it.

  • Savita Pereira

    I love reading self help books and currently I am single being dumped by my boyfriend.  This would help my self esteem.

  • Cagboulder

    so does it count if I haven’t subjugated my needs to another?

  • Savita Pereira

    I love reading self help books as I dream of helping people with problems

  • Marelleigh

    It frightens me just reading some of the comments today. I think being rejected is my biggest fear and it is also what is ever present in every relationship. I always assume that eventually I won’t be “enough.” I
    The funny part is that I know he does not give me my self worth. I know that…I just can’t seem to tap into it when I need it. I also know he has no more value in this relationship than I do. The title…Choosing Me before We. What must it feel like to be that assured, that confident. I sure would like to know.    

  • Chrissie

    I love Christine Arylo! She truely IS the queen of self love :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/sid.baad Siddharth Baad

    The book, you have mentioned, seems an interesting read especially for married couples who would like to strengthen their understanding and love for each other. Kindly let me know how can we get this book.

  • Echemist

    Would love to read this book! I totally agree, we need to love ourselves first before we have a meaningful relationship with anyone else. I’m in a self help program right now and I pray and mediate every day. Along with that comes a lot of serenity and a sense of being. I’m happier than I’ve ever been in my life but I know I have a long way to go. It’s women like you who make me want to love myself even more and I thank you for that. 

  • Jen Padilla

    If I won then I’ll read the book for me, learn from it then give it to my Mom. I may have found now the person that I ought to spend my life with, but I’m longing for the constant growth in putting myself first before I can share myself with others. & as for my Mom, after the failed relationships (including one with my Dad), may she also realize that it’s ok to be unselfish sometimes, for your wants and needs to be nurtured and not held back. In the way that yourself is whole, so does your love will be towards others.

  • Christina

    This seems to be the book I need – I am currently developping my own version of self-love and would like some inspiration along the way :)

  • Chefrredus

    Great article.

  • Tinkerdustesme

    This book sounds amazing!

  • http://twitter.com/darkanj3l Miss B.

    Yes please! Going through a breakup at the moment from bf of three yrs (constant on and off). Can’t seem to break the cycle and always putting him before ME. Now I’m slowly starting to realise that no matter how much love you give, if the person isnt ready to accept it or does not even want to give the same love back…it’s a dis-service to yourself to stay with that person. So here I am…trying to go on the journey of finding myself again and nurturing myself first before another person.

  • Claudettem49

    I am a 54 year old woman who always believed that I needed a man to make me happy.  Today I realize that only I can make myself happy by loving myself and taking care of myself.  I have been in two long term relationships and always thought that I needed these men to take care of me.  Slowly but surely althought not all the time I know that I can take care of myself.  The book Choosing Me Before We sounds like a good book that would definitely help me continue on my journey knowing that I can make it on my own!

  • Maggie

    My boyfriend and I are having issues and I am realizing how important it is to put myself first- this post was wonderful to read!

  • Zaahira

    I think this would be an amazing book to read! Thank you!

  • Maria

    Yes, it’s all so true, what you say. The problem is to recognize it. I’m in a relationship for 30 yrs, married for 22, and I have 3 beautiful daughters. Sometimes I think “What am I doing here?” if not for them. My husband never told me he loved me, he just “likes me a lot”, and I always accepted it. I shouldn’t have. Today, I’m keeping my marriage not only for my kids, but in fact, because I do really love that man, although he doesn’t feel that same way :(  But I realize I should love me better.
    I’m not planning ending the relationship, but I’m really unhappy. I think I could use some of your advice. I already heard Amy, and I’m slowly doing better, but it’s really hard.
    Thank you for your time reading this.

  • Camm109

    In the words of RuPaul, “If you don’t love yourself, how the hell are you gonna love somebody else.. Can I get an Amen!”

  • Ktruscott

    I am buying this book for myself and my best girlfriends, married and single!  

  • Lilly

    I would absolutely love to read this book. I have recently been struggling with some decisions (albeit necessary ones) that I have made in my life, and am having a hard time making some other changes as I know that they will be difficult and I will have to work through them, even though I also know that they are necessary. It is often incredibly hard to see things as necessary and important when you also see the difficult times that lay ahead after making those choices. I hope that in ten years, and after reading this book, that I am able to see the necessary aspect of the choice that I have done and still have to do!

  • C.

    I need to listen to my own advice, and that advice is what Ms. Arylo has so artfully written in this book. I keep being reminded of how I used to be, what I’ve settled for, and am in the process of regaining my happy-funky self.   

  • Sage Adderley

    This book sounds wonderful. I am really eager to check it out and get inspired.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/Q42VSFAONPAKNJZIS5CFTX33UI Kristin

    I cant wait to read this book! Just what ive been looking for.

  • LP

    Women are naturally supportive and nurturing beings.  I find from my own experiences and hearing the experiences of my mom, sister and friends that we tend to lose ourselves in many ways looking out and after others.  I was in a relationship for six months.  Once it ended I too realized I was always looking for someone else to make me happy other than myself.  It didn’t click immediately, but rather took some deep soul searching and self reflection because I made an active decision to choose ME first.  Always putting yourself first, is easier said than done, but it is doable.  Making more of conscience effort to do so has made such an impact in my life!  By doing so I can and am able to be more attentive to those around me and not wondering when the right man for me will arrive.  I enjoy and life in the present moment rather than think about what might be or not.

  • Taradavies

    I need this book in my life!

  • Paige

    I’m glad I found this through my Google search of “finding peace in my life”.  I am currently struggling with my relationship with a wonderful man but we are not at the same place.  I am read for the next step and he is not.  I think this book is just what I need.  I have been getting my feelings hurt easily over silly things.  I realize that I am the only one responsible for my feelings and I am ready to take control again!   I want to find peace within myself and with my relationship.  I have some how lost my joy and have stopped doing things for myself.  It’s  time for a fresh start

  • Ginger

    As a “professional caretaker”, aka executive assistant, to a top executive, I find I leave little room for self love at the end of my day. But I recently acknowledged that void and took the leap; I’m finally on that journey! Finding my inner peace has been such a beautiful struggle. I love this story; what an encouraging book and inspirational idea. I love all that Tiny Buddha brings to my daily life. A slice of calm within the chaos. I can’t wait to see what this book called enlighten me with!

  • http://twitter.com/kristin_huntley Kristin Huntley

    I can’t wait to read this book.  

  • J Dyers

    A dear friend and I were just discussing the importance of pursuing passions or just being you before/without family and how it contributes greatly to the whole family dynamic!  I’m excited to read this!

  • Haley Steckline

    Please I would the book. Insightful it is I am sure. Thank you for taking the time to share and help others to see what they may be missing.

  • http://chibijeebs.com/ Chibi Jeebs

    I’m currently reading Christine’s “Big Fat Lies Women Tell Themselves,” and I love it – I’d love to check out this book, too! :)

  • http://chibijeebs.com/ Chibi Jeebs
  • Haley

    I feel for you , and am also in that place. I hope it works out for both of us.

  • Bella1roma

    I feel like I haven’t seen a Tiny Buddha email in so long and I really did need to see this one today. I’m definately in a unhealthy relationship of 11 yrs. I know it needs to end or I should say it needed to end years ago. It has been on and off since it started. Now after so long and two kids, I’m afraid to get out and quite frankly don’t know how. I have such a hard time putting myself first, feeling so guilty when I do. My partner tells me how selfish I am all the time and I believe him until I sit back and think how I don’t know how I  could be when I very rarely do anything for myself. I come from an abusive childhood home, followed by abusive relationships, and now I don’t know if I would know how to be in a heathy one, especially when my self esteem is beaten down on a daily basis. I definatley need to read this book and probably need the class too!

  • Jennifer

    This really resonated with me. Also, I’m dying to know — what was the book referred to in question 2?!

  • stacie

    I spent 12 years in a relationship trying to make my partner happy.  When we broke up 8 months ago I realized that we should have worked harder on making ourselves happy first and bringing that person to the relationship instead of trying to make each other happy first.  Saying it is one thing, but when taking care of others is all you’ve ever done how do you change?  I hope this book will give me the tools to change my focus to me and help me make my next relationship a healthier one. 

  • Mel

    Sounds like a wonderful book.  Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy!

  • Samaralsinclair

    This book sounds great and I am excited to read it.

  • Designerjoy

    I would love to read this boo, because it is difficult to be in a relationship.  I have kids, I am a wife, I am a mom, but I have lost a lot of ME.  I would love to learn how to get ME back.  Thank you.

  • BB2022

    This book seems to come at perfect timing as I have been struggling now for for about a year…Seems to be once you get involved with the emotional abuse type..hard to get away from. A couple years ago…i experienced a relationship with jealousy, possesiveness…yelling, degrading names..every one imaginable, and hit to the stomach. But other times ..he was perfect…night and day…My head hurt. I was stressed. It was so dramatic. But the good days were so good that I forgot about the bad until they happened and then I feared for my life….I’m not sure how many times the cops were called on us…his yelling….my fearful screams that I was gonna get hurt. But out of all of it, even though I know nothing he said was true,….I still cry when I think about it. And I don’t know if it’s because I’m so hurt someone I truly cared for treated me like that and claimed to love me or that I allowed myself to be treated like. But the feelings of worth/respect …never fully come back. Not many people know….so I can act fine …but inside ive turned so cold and it’s so lonely :’(

  • Monwickedness

    I was meant to see this today. Just literally went thru a breakup with my boyfriend of three years, and am realizing that I DID have enough love for him, just not enough for me. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom!

  • Sue

    So many of us women need to be re-programmed to look after ourselves, not just others.  Our society still trains us to be he peace-keepers and look after those around us and self-love is just not something we are taught, let alone understand.  We need all the help we can get.  Thank you for what looks like a great book.

  • Jamie Martin
  • Shayne

    I wish I came across this book 4 years ago. I was going through a tough breakup (for the better) but it was still painful to let go of someone you have shared so many memories with actually saw as the father of my future kids and as my husband. We get so dependant on the other person for happiness that I felt lik emy world turned upside down when we split. I had a breakdown and it was the hardest things I had to go through. It took me baby steps and I can confidently say that through self-help books, retreats, and having a positive support group I am now in a healthier and better place in life. In a way, I kinda look at it now as a ‘blessing in disguise.’ You sometime have to go through traumatic experiences in order for you to find yourself and self-reflect. I’m more happier now than I was ‘in’ a relationship. More power to you females and keep your head up. There is light at the end of the tunnel. :)

  • http://boilingwok.wordpress.com/ sos

    I want to win this!!  This is something i am working on and this books like the answer

  • Pfsmith9

    This article is relavent to my 15 year relationship. It is time to make a commitment or move on. The book will shed some light on what I need for my well – being.

  • Rebecca

    If it’s meant to be…
    It will.

  • Katrina

    This is such an interesting topic that many women don’t even think to bring up. I really admire those that bring up such a key part of relationships! I’ve seen women rush into relationships for relationship-sake. (Been there too) I’d love to read more.

  • Elizadoalot54

    Brilliant, how many women need this book. I am the meanest girl to me I have ever known..and I just figured it out. I used to think it was them being mean to me…but actually it was me inviting them to my mean girl party…still workin on it

  • Sheri White

    It can be a tough lesson to learn, especially given the ‘traditional’ American woman’s path and influence by parents who have ‘old world’ views.  I am finding myself in the middle of this very new journey and although I have hit several big hurdles (and am in the midst of one at present)…the most important thing is to keep on thinking and being the new person/woman who loves and adores herself for exactly who she is in the moment.  There is likely to be lots of resistance presented to you along the path but I KNOW it is the right path and well worth the struggle.  Undoing years of wrong/hurtful self thinking is not an easy task to overcome but I am sure it is going to be worth it and what I am reaping now will sow…patience and faith because I AM WORTH IT.  :)

  • Darcie S

    This resonates so strongly for me in my friendships not my romantic relationships.  I set myself (and others) up for failure when I hold them to standards that I know deep in my heart they could never meet…just that I so wish they would.  I had an “aha” moment recently when I realized that it is really myself that I have such high expectations of, which I then transfer to others…I mean if I can bend over backwards why can’t they right?  I ended a 25 year friendship with someone almost a year ago because they kept letting me down and I finally said enough – I deserve to be treated the same way I treat people and if that person can’t do it after all these years then that’s it!  This person just contacted me this week to share some good news, and I am now practicing lowering my expectations….we will see

  • Caro

    Sounds like a great book! I’d love to read it!

  • Guest123

    It’s funny that this popped up in my FB feed today…  My husband and I have been together also 15 years, since I had just turned 18, he’s 5 years older than me.  He has always treated me more as a pet than anything.  He was my first boyfriend, first love, but now it’s turned into something that I can barely deal with.  We have an adolescent daughter between us and I think I’ve been staying more for her, but also because I feel like I won’t have anything left if I leave him.  I’m the main bread winner in the house, and work tons of hours, but he’s the one that somehow always ends up with the new stuff, vacations, cars, etc.  I rarely leave my house anymore…  I’m miserable.  And I’ve known for the past year that I alone allowed it to get this bad…  

  • Amy

    I’d love to read this book as I slowly mend my heart from yet another breakup.

  • Brainybm

    Like many women posting here, I too am successful in most areas of my life apart from the thing that ultimately sustains everything else – looking after #1. I’ll be buying the book, for myself and the other important women in my life.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/7QYZLKJXKNWHYBSRNSOPA7C35A HazelM

    This sounds like a perfect read for anyone! Any one of us at any given time can find ourselves in similar situations, looking for much needed guidance. Sometimes, a few encouraging words, written by those who have experienced similar situations gives us that boost or kick in the pants to gear us in the right direction. Thank you for writing such a book. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1057302429 Jenny Willis Eubank

    I would love to enter to win a copy.

  • Samantha Kuppler

    I think it’s great that there’s a book about loving YOURSELF because so often we fail to do so. We put everyone else’s needs before our own and sacrifice our own happiness. It’s not about being selfish and not giving to others. It’s about how to love yourself and realize you deserve respect as well. I find is so interesting how we would never treat others in the negative ways we treat ourselves….

  • adriarsol@hotmail.com

    I’m in that journey of falling in love with myself. Erasing that negative inner voice sometimes is hard and getting lost in past painful feelings happens even with my commitment to get me there…
    Would love to have the book, I know how far I can go so please join this exciting ride to get me where I need to be

  • sabrey

    Its difficult to want good things for yourself when your so busy catering to others, even without them wanting it.

  • LadyTamborine

    I was recently teaching this lesson to my young adult daughters. I always taught them to be giving, caring and understanding.  Sometimes the lines can become blurred.   I appreciate how you point out  “It’s not choosing me instead of we. Choosing ME before WE.” 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1015536661 Crystal Leatherwood

    Such an important message to learn.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=551496882 Cheryl Biegel

    I know a young woman who needs this book now.  She is young but seems to feel she needs someone in her life all the time but has suffered several through relationships.  Have tried so much to help her be her own person.   

  • Cassandra Parker

    Relationships in my life have been some bad, some good but are dealt from deep within my emotions and feelings. Always growing up, low self esteem existed due to dysfunctional family.Trying attemps to speak my peace of mind just didn’t work. I never felt better, only worse just even at trying. So I always asked myself” What is up with me and my low selfesteem?”   It is challenging being at peace within but I recognize it to give me hindsight to my especially good talents and passion in love the way I do. Too often the wrong monster creeped into my room extracting the goodness from me inside so challenging arising in the morning to a fragmented statement strictly bearing the burden of ” Will I Ever Love Myself?”
    During 1983, I was married to my husband who was abusive. One day he walked in announcing ” Sandra I am leaving you as I have found another woman, signed months ago divorce proceedings, and have my lawyer working on it.” I was overrun by this horrible statement and bore my non acceptance repeating “But you can’t leave me because you love me and I love you with our two young children”. An overwhelming shock merged from me showing signs of total disbelief with no chance of desireing him to leave his family.
    For two long hourse it became emerged in abusiveness both physcially and verbally until I finally gave way to a nervous breakdown. Shattered as I was I was taken to a Mental Institution even though I had been abused too. Five long month I embarked upon the understanding of the way to love me and acquaint me with journal, inspirations, and prayer too. Successfully , I was out in five months with the challenge to keep myself as positive as could possibly be so I could reach this new destiny lying ahead for me as a challenging , positivity within me to far reach the attempted association as a single mom raising a 2 yr old and a young 5 yr old girl who I had feared hid under the table gazing at all that went on. Today she just puts it into the past (denial) and pursues her father as I had to move away farther from him.
    All today boils down to for me is that I learn one day at a time to inspire m;yself with “I am number 1 to care for my kids and myself too”. Discontentment in that relationship had only sought out my lower self esteem but I vowed that with little love lost from that time, I now can concentrate on my healthy, comfortable, loved way I am inside. It is not easy every day as now I do exist with a “Borderline Personality” which breeches feelings and emotions , but I know in order to restore order within my present life for what lies ahead to come , I will follow the meaning of in keeping with Good Health, Truthful Honest Meaning that I am worth every little ounce of love and care, and walk forward towards the new self that I aim to continually fullfill inside to the very end of my lifetime.Always will I keep a GREAT EFFORT!