When people talk about self-love it is often considered narcissistic or even selfish. But the root of your ability to love others or to being receptive to love starts from loving yourself. Just imagine you would start up a business and put your time and money into it. Wouldn’t your conviction that your efforts are worth the sacrifices motivate you to continue investing your resources in that business to see it thrive? The same way you will only take time to build up yourself and to keep progressing when you realize that the greatest investment is in yourself. You would never think about furthering your education, looking for ways of self-development or make that step to further your career if you thought it wasn't worth it. If you don’t believe in and love yourself, nobody else will.
Just think about our Creator. God describes us in the most beautiful words to demonstrate how special we are to Him. Matthew 5:14-16 (NIV) says: “14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven”. Thus, if He created us in His own image and loves us unconditionally, then shouldn’t we do the same? Beyond that, He even describes us as shining lights. Light provides warmth and illuminates, therefore what is there not to love?
Self-love does not equal self-denial. On the contrary, truly loving yourself means being honest with yourself. Being real about your strengths and weaknesses. Sincerely identifying the areas you still need to work on. Being oblivious to the things that would make you better as a person, choosing the easy way out by ignoring those areas and expecting others to simply “accept you the way you are”, will only result in one thing: standstill. If you truly want to progress and better yourself you will have to reach deep. If you want to keep progressing in life, truly embracing who you are will be inevitable.
I, therefore, encourage you to start loving yourself. Use every single day to further improve yourself in a positive way. You will see that the love you have for yourself will allow you to love others even more.