Loving oneself is only a way to say it. Loving oneself really means to see things as they are and see that they cannot be any other way. Loving oneself means loving life, loving the amazing perfectness that every nanosecond of this universe is expressing.
The only reason one does not love ‘oneself’ is because one does not see that what is appearing is the only thing that can appear. Nothing is separated from anything else. You did not decide to do some things because suddenly you had a thought. You ‘decided’ to do what you did because the whole universe was moving in the direction of that thought, and so the thought was expressed. What else can be done?
Loving oneself means loving life, and understanding that life is continually evolving. It ‘wants’ to evolve; it ‘wants’ to reach its highest possibilities, no different than rain water on top of a mountain will move towards its destination: the river, the ocean, the place of rest.
There is nothing to worry about. You are fine, because life is fine. To love yourself all you have to do is to be alert in every moment and respond to things with as much presence as you can offer. Yes, the whole universe moves us at every step, but because presence is the most powerful force that exists, it can shape the universe to move more directly into its fate. And our destiny is nothing more, or less, than a profound sense of connectedness with the whole.
So, to love yourself is something very practical. Just be alert in every moment and chose what is best for you…what is best for life. Chose the best food that is available at any moment; chose the best company that is available at any moment (and often the best company is our own); chose the best environment that is available at every moment. Always move towards beauty, towards truth, towards love. And then, let the universe do what it has to do. We may like what it does, or we may not, but it does not matter (it does not matter because it is not up to us). Just have enough presence to be able to see what your best options are at any moment and then embrace what comes. Love the universe as it is. Love life as it appears at every moment. Love yourself as you are. When you love yourself you love life. When you love life you love yourself.
The only mistake we often make is to believe we are separated from life. Your thoughts and emotions are not your thoughts and emotions, they are the thoughts and emotions of life: the huge complex soup of your past experiences, DNA and cosmic forces all put together by the ‘wisdom’ of life. A thought or emotion that appears in your head is no different than a sunny day or a cloudy day that appears in Bucharest. The sunny or cloudy day is the sum of a huge soup of forces put together by the laws of life. You love life not by loving only the sunny days, but by seeing the beauty of both the sunny day and the cloudy day. You love life by embracing the whole.
Love yourself by loving the whole. Nothing that you see, that you feel, that you think is a mistake. Or as Rumi says in his poem called The Guest House:
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
As an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
The beyond just means life itself, the whole.
Love yourself not because of what you are or what you are not, but simply because you are.