The path of mindfulness begins with our self. Each of us is here to study and get to know who we are as we journey through life. But it can be painful to see our less desirable parts. They trigger fears of unworthiness. So when we do make contact, there is a tendency to run away.
Being open to who we are, exactly as we are in this moment, requires a stance of gentleness toward ourselves. This is what it means to befriend the self. We treat ourselves with the same sweetness we would a friend.
Instead of rejecting our insecurities, sour-temper and petty jealousies, we turn up our curiosity and soften our heart. The magic is being open without judgment. In doing so, we begin to naturally see others in an equally compassionate light.
So, the ground of loving-kindness and mindfulness begins with our selves but ends with others. When we set the intention to live from this kind of honesty and gentleness, there are no obstacles to how far our love can go.