As you practice loving other people, it is important that you love yourself. If you get into a romantic relationship and you don’t love yourself, its like you’re a used car salesman trying to sell a lemon. Of course you are not a lemon, but if you think of yourself as a lemon, you will have problems getting too close. When your romantic interest starts to get close to that part of you that you think is lemony, you will start to freak out.
To love yourself is not as hard as it seems. The hardest part is to stop sending hateful messages to yourself in your thoughts. To stop those hateful messages you can observe those thoughts as they happen and remind yourself to stop. Remind yourself that the thoughts are not true. If they keep coming, you can write them down. If writing them down doesn’t work, you can tell them to a friend and get a second opinion. When you stop criticizing yourself behind your back you will feel better. You will start to like yourself.
The easier way to love yourself is to recognize that you already love yourself. If you are not feeling good about yourself or about things, your deepest wish is for you to feel better. There is no greater love than that.
As you practice loving yourself, you will realize that you have no lemony parts. You will see that all your parts are just wonderful you. When you feel that deep love for yourself, it is much easier to share yourself and your love with others.