I too am inclined to see myself in much less admiration and light as others see me. Self-love is a scarce commodity. We love our friends, look up to them, see how amazing they are...so amazing we want to spend time with them! Yet, we cannot always see why the feeling is mutual! If we could only see in ourselves what others see so easily in us. Truth is, this realization is not new for me! The realization and practice of self-love landed on my spiritual practice radar two and a half years ago, with a painful, resounding, hard to face "thud." It's the hardest work of all because it's foundational. It's the root of all other suffering. The call is for self-annihilation: a strategic unraveling of who and how we've decided we are. (“I am strong. I am capable. I am giving. I am kind. I am generous. I am… fill-in-the-blank.”) The stronger the identity to this construct, the stronger the underlying pull of it's opposite that has been instilled in us in since our childhood (“I'm only lovable when I don't show feelings of vulnerability. I'm only loveable when I am not needing. I'm only lovable when I'm pleasing some one else.”) Once we can see through our constructs and the resulting compensatory behavior we can then move to the center of our hearts, be with our own vastness and inherent OK-ness necessary to feed the fire of love for all things: our vulnerability, our needs, our emotions, our Self. Then, not only do we see what others see in us, but we see it looking back at us thru others' eyes. Om on.
"Your work is to discover your work, and then with all your heart give yourself to it."