The conventional wisdom is that we can't love others until we love ourselves. I believe the opposite is true. We cannot truly love ourselves until we love others, not just members of our family or our groups, but every stranger as well.
Love is the only thing that can fill the hole that we believe we have in our lives. We try to fill it with material possessions, romantic relationships, drugs, alcohol, too much food, etc. In truth, there is no hole. We just feel that there is one because our separation has left us with a feeling of lack. We are missing something and we have no idea how to find it. We do not even know what we are looking for. Yet we embark on every crazy idea our mind concocts about what is missing and how to find it.
How do we love those that hate us or that are trying to harm us? We realize that there is no difference between them and us and that their anger comes from their thoughts about their own inadequacy. They believe they are unlovable and unworthy. That profound sadness leads to anger, which covers up the fear and loneliness that they feel.
There is no hole. We do not need to look for love. It is what we are. All we have to do is surrender our thoughts, judgments and beliefs. What is left is peace, love and joy.
Let's surrender to love.