Let's face it, love can be hard. Some days, because of my selfishness and pride, I fail to love the Lord with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. Many days, I harden my heart and fail to love my neighbors. Most days, I fail to love myself. I think everyone except one person has struggled with finding the grace to love in all places at all times.
Jesus Christ loved the Father with his whole being, ministered to sinners with unconditional love, and knew his unfathomable worth as the Son of God. No nails could hold God upon a cross, and so even as the world mocked him, love held Him firm on the cross. So, Jesus serves as my guide for how to imitate this commandment to love God, neighbor, and self.
I most strongly feel my love for Christ when I "waste time with Jesus" in the Blessed Sacrament. Kneeling and adoring the Lord allows me to grow in love for Him. But God will never be outdone, and so the more I look at Him in love, the more grace he pours into me in order to love my neighbor and myself. I've realized that the days I feel most in tune with God are the days I find the strength to love the most.
Through this grace and the realization that we are all God's children, I try (but very often fail) to remember that we are one human family. The drunk, homeless man who asked me for change yesterday is my brother while the professor who seems intent on destroying my social life with homework is my sister.
Out of loving God and my neighbor comes a love of self. I don't mean pride, but instead acknowledging that while I have countless sins, I am of great worth. I am of so much worth that God came to Earth, became man, and died on the cross so that I might have eternal life. This realization that we are all created in the image and likeness of God only increases my desire to serve my neighbor.
Loving yourself is important because it allows you to love your neighbor and to love, know, and serve the Lord in this life. And so even though love is incredibly difficult at times, the gospel challenges us to spread this love from our personal relationship with God and knowledge of self-worth to the entire world no matter how difficult. Jesus, I trust in You!