Self-love is the strong sense of respect for and confidence in oneself.
It is different from narcissism in that as one practices acceptance and detachment, the awareness of the individual shifts and the individual starts to see him or herself as an extension of all there is. Ultimately, the identification of “I” from a personal individual perspective, shifts to “I” from a perspective of consciousness or life being experienced from the perceptual point of view that we call by our individual names.
Self-love can be taught in childhood through honesty, acceptance and unconditional love. Since most parents have their own self-doubts and limiting beliefs, they project these onto their children and the cycles of self-rejection and self-abuse repeat themselves.
In 1956 psychologist and social philosopher Erich Fromm proposed that loving oneself is different from being arrogant, conceited or egocentric. He proposed that loving oneself means caring about oneself, taking responsibility for oneself, respecting oneself, and knowing oneself (e.g. being realistic and honest about one’s strengths and weaknesses). He proposed, further, that in order to be able to truly love another person, a person needs first to love oneself in this way.
Somebody whose opinion I respect told me once that self love is allowing our spiritual self to love and accept our physical self.
Whatever words may be used to define self-love, it is the holy grail which I, like so many others, seek, and is probably one of the main reasons for the existence of this website.