Of course loving oneself is not always a precondition for being loved. What we often don’t understand is that, when we look within and cultivate the conditions for self-love, we make ourselves more selfless. When we find the tools to provide ourselves with validation, we stop seeking it from others. Wallowing in your own misery is as selfish and delusional as starting fights with strangers who look like they might disagree with your worldview. There is no virtue in forcing yourself to suffer, even if it can’t be helped. Perhaps our modern ideological self-flagellation is a sublimation of our leftover Judeo-Christian religious impulses. We can suffer with dignity without being proud or romantic about our suffering. Life is what it is regardless of whether we judge it as ‘good’ or ‘bad’; we should recognize this and stop pretending to be victims of ourselves and the world.