I recently read a quote attributed to Buddha. While I haven't researched it to see if he really did say it, it sounds like him.
It was something along the lines of it not mattering how compassionate one is towards others if one cannot also be compassionate toward one's self.
I've heard variations on this theme throughout my life - if one cannot love one's self, how can others love one, if one does not see one's own beauty, how can anyone else, if one cannot apply love, healing, compassion, or whatever to one's self then it is incomplete.
It is terribly difficult foe me to look at myself in the mirror, and it is equally difficult for me to see myself as having value. So many messages incoming that tell me I don't measure up, so many times hearing that I am worthless and useless because I don't fit some mold, some idea or ideal of what a person should be, and after a while it really does drown out the smaller, quieter, kinder thoughts and truths.
I am pondering this idea that I deserve compassion, too. I can't quite wrap my mind around it. I have always said, and meant, that I don't matter. My needs don't matter. My wants don't matter. That can't be healthy.
It's a strange thing, to try and put myself before others. It feels selfish and wrong.
How do you do it?