Loving yourself has a bad press in the West. We often associate it with being self-centered and not caring about others. In fact, we have a tendency to want to put ourselves down to avoid being thought of as self-centered.
But in the Buddhist tradition, which has produced countless outstandingly generous and selfless individuals, there is an emphasis on developing love for yourself as an indispensable prerequisite for loving others.
In the Christian tradition we can also bear in mind that the injunction is to “love others as yourself,” implying that we ought to love not just others but ourselves as well. In fact the assumption in saying that we should love others as ourselves is that we already do love ourselves and that we need to extend that love to others! It’s ironic that it’s often people with Christian conditioning that think that loving yourself is sinful.
Buddhists believe that if you don’t love yourself, then it’s hard, if not impossible, for you to love other people. And if you think about it you might find you already suspect that some of the most selfish people you know really, deep down, don’t like themselves. More>>