If you don't love and respect yourself, you are setting yourself up for heart ache, being used, and thoughts of self judgement. Self love is not selfish. Self love is fundamental to psychological well being. It is the foundation of a loving heart. If you do not love yourself, you will have a skewed vision of love, often seeking to fill the void you feel with someone else.
Don't confuse the desire to share your time and love with another, with the need to complete yourself or feel whole. When people convince themselves that they are incomplete with out being with another person they are deluding themselves into thinking that somehow another person can make them feel whole. No one can make you feel happy or whole. These are feelings that can only come from within your own heart.
Sure, a new love will provide feelings of elation and a temporary feeling of fulfillment, but as the newness wears off in the relationship, so will the feeling of completeness, unless you have learned to love yourself. The void you may feel in your heart is because you haven't embraced your own perfection. LOVE YOURSELF FIRST, and then you will be offering a complete person with a whole heart to the relationship.
It can be challenging to overcome a lifetime of self judgement. Be gentle with yourself. I use a positive affirmation every morning to remind myself that, "I AM healthy, happy and whole." Whenever I feel self doubt, I repeat this phrase a few times. It may sound like it won't make a difference, but I assure you that it will. Loving yourself first is a fundamental step to being happy.
Laura Barrette Shannon