I stumbled upon this beautiful passage by Leo Buscaglia on self-love; it succinctly explains the importance of self-love, and how it can be an indulgence rather than a sometimes seemingly impossible task.
Loving yourself involves the discovery of the true wonder of you; not only the present you, but the many possibilities of you. It involves the continual realization that you are unique, like no other person in the world, that life is, or should be, the discovery, the development and the sharing of this uniqueness. The process is not always easy, for one is bound to find those who will feel threatened by a changing, growing you. But it will always be exciting, always be fresh and like all things new and changing, never be dull. The trip into oneself is the grandest, most enjoyable and longest lasting. The fare is cheap; it merely involves continual experiencing, evaluating, educating, trying out of new behavior. Only you can be the final judge in determining what is right for you. . . .
Loving yourself also involves the knowledge that only you can be you. If you try to be like anyone else, you may come very close, but you will always be second best. But, you are the best you. It is the easiest, most practical, most rewarding thing to be. Then it makes sense that you can only be to others what you are to yourself.
If you know, accept, and appreciate yourself and your uniqueness, you will permit others to do so. If you value and appreciate the discovery of yourself, you will encourage others to engage in self-discovery. If you recognize your need to be free to discover who you are, you will allow others their freedom to do so, also. When you realize you are the best you, you will accept the fact that others are the best they. But it follows that it all starts with you. To the extent to which you know yourself, and we are all more alike than different, you can know others. When you love yourself, you will love others. And to the depth and extent to which you can love yourself, only to that depth and extent will you be able to love others.