Loving yourself is essential because it is by loving your own self that you become able to love others. When you learn to view your own faults and failings with understanding and compassion, you become able to accept and love others, even when you know their imperfections. When you see divinity in your own being you become able to see the divine in others. The attitudes and approaches you develop toward others begin with the feelings you have about your own self.
If you can love all parts of yourself and accept yourself fully, then you can have compassion for others. Love Divine does not discriminate, does not pick and choose. It is love unconditional. When love for your own self becomes unconditional, when you can forgive yourself for all the ways you have not lived up to how you think you should be, then you become able to touch Love Divine.
Your own personality as well as your body, mind and sense of self are all expressions of the one eternal Self. When you love yourself and all beings, you love the divine in manifest form. Within you are shadows and light, joys and pain. When you hold all parts of yourself equally with acceptance and love, you move into balance. From that balance comes the deep meditative harmony with divine Consciousness, divine Essence.
In that harmony, oneness exists. There, the love you have been seeking can be found. There, you find the wholeness that dissolves all suffering. Know that each and every person, including you, is unconditionally loved, unconditionally cared for.
That love is like a gently falling rain, a shower of grace. It is only when you are afraid, holding up the umbrella of ego, afraid to let it down, afraid to let love in that this love cannot be felt. When you let it down and let love in, the love that is there is vast and unconditioned. You are the dear child of the beloved One. When you feel that, you know you are never alone, and you will never again be alone, for the Divine is always with you.
You are always cherished. This guidance, this shower of grace, of unconditional love is always there, always. It is only when you are looking away and absorbed with all of the details of your life that the defensiveness of I and mine comes. Due to your distracted attention, divine love becomes invisible. It is always there, only you do not hear the sweet small voice within. You do not see the shower of grace. You become deaf; you become blind; all you see are separate forms that come and go.
When you awaken, then the eyes open. The true Guru is the one who applies the ointment of knowledge and removes the darkness from your eyes. By grace you may see, hear and know love, know truth. When you experience loneliness, take the shelter of your most Beloved and know that you are always loved, unconditionally. Feel that shower of grace surround you and know that you are not alone.
That loving consciousness, that infinite, caressing, caring intelligence permeates all that is. Everyone you have loved is an expression of that. You have seen the Beloved in the eyes of those you have loved, your children, your spouse, your lover. You have seen the Divine in their eyes. See that One in your own heart. Feel the grace around you. Let go of the encasement around your heart.
Let go of the duality of I and mine. Let go of your fear and your separation. Sink into the Beloved. Feel the grace. This is yours. It will always be yours. It never changes. The love of the Infinite is unconditional, always with you every moment of every day, with you when you came into this world, with you when you leave, with you in your hardest times, with you in your greatest joy. You are guided, protected and loved unconditionally.
Know this love. It is in your own heart-cave. This love belongs to you. This One is the Self of yourself, your source, your home. The aching in every human heart is to end the experience of duality and to be united with the whole of being again, to return home to the sea of love from which all have come. This is your birthright. It is your natural state, sahaj. This is true self-love.
Here are a few books we recommend
Intro To Yama & Niyama
Living In Harmony
The Nature Of Love
What Are The Niyamas
What Are The Yamas & Niyamas
What Is Gratitude?