Unser Leben kann nur freudig sein, wenn wir uns selbst lieben, uns akzeptieren, so wie wir sind. Wir selbst sind das Zentrum der Liebe, von dort kann sie sich zu anderen ausbreiten. Jedes Kind ist mit dieser unschuldigen Liebe zu sich selbst geboren. Durch unserer Erziehung, der vielen Kritik, der wir ausgesetzt waren, haben wir angefangen, die Kritik zu verinnerlichen und uns selbst abzulehnen. In diesen Tagen wollen wir diese Liebe zurückerobern und zu unserem eigenen besten Freund werden.
Whatsoever you are with yourself you are with others. Let that be a basic dictum. If you hate yourself you will hate others – and you have been taught to hate yourself. Nobody has ever said to you, “Love yourself!” The very idea seems absurd – loving oneself? The very idea makes no sense – loving oneself? We always think that to love one needs somebody else. But if you don’t learn it with yourself you will not be able to practise it with others. You have been told, constantly conditioned, that you are not of any worth. From every direction you have been shown, you have been told, that you are unworthy, that you are not what you should be, that you are not accepted as you are. There are many shoulds hanging over your head – and those shoulds are almost impossible to fulfill. And when you cannot fulfill them, when you fall short, you feel condemned. A deep hatred arises in you about yourself.
How can you love others? So full of hatred, where are you going to find love? So you only pretend, you only show that you are in love. Deep down you are not in love with anybody – you cannot be. Those pretensions are good for a few days, then the color disappears, then reality asserts itself.
Once you are incapable of loving yourself, you will never be able to love anybody. That is an absolute truth, there are no exceptions to it. You can love others only if you are able to love yourself.
But the society condemns self-love. It says it is selfishness, it says it is narcissistic. Yes, self-love can become narcissistic but it is not necessarily so. It can become narcissistic if it never moves beyond itself, it can become a kind of selfishness if it becomes confined to yourself. Otherwise, self-love is the beginning of all other loves.
A person who loves himself sooner or later starts overflowing with love. A person who trusts himself cannot distrust anybody, even those who are going to deceive him, even those who have already deceived him. Yes, he cannot even distrust them, because now he knows trust is far more valuable than anything else.