I noticed somewhere in the early years of my practice that my big effort was to get people to love me. I really wanted people to love me. And what I discovered in practice was that it really didn’t matter what other people thought. The one whose love and appreciation and approval I wanted was right here. I wanted approval from here, and I wouldn’t give it to myself. What I found out was that no matter how much approval I got from outside, it didn’t count if I was not able to appreciate myself and be willing to be who I am. Whatever this is, it has become this over an accumulation of the actions of body, speech, and mind of more than eighty years. It’s my creation in a way. And it’s really helpful if I acknowledge it and befriend this being that I have created with the help of all of the beings with whom I have shared my life.
From Seeds for a Boundless Life by Zenkei Blanche Hartman, page 68