I believe. . . . Love can inspire love. Love for the ones we take care of, can grow from and be nutured by our love for ourselves. Love of (and care of) oneself gives us the strength of spirit to care for others. Love starts within and flows outwards.
To put it another way, love requires a sense of freedom, freedom of choice. (This includes voluntary commitments such as marriage & children.) Without the freedom to love oneself, that sense of freedom is lost, and so love of others is lost.
To put it another way again, we learn to love others by experiencing being loved (by a parent for example). If we later forget what it is to be loved, then we can forget how to love. So, please allow yourself to be loved (including love of oneself) so that you can remember how to love.
(As for my inspiration for these words, I credit the writings on individualist ethics by Ayn Rand, and the writings on self-esteem by Nathaniel Branden.)
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