The golden rule—treating others as you’d like to be treated—doesn’t work very well if you don’t love yourself. A lot of hate for others in this world is ironically rooted in self-loathing beliefs, self-piteous words, and self-defeating acts.
If you’ve had trouble loving yourself, chances are you haven’t learned to receive all the love God has for you, or let him heal and grow your identity as much as he’s offered. It’s hard to love him back with all your heart if you let parts of it be held captive to unconquered fears and unhealed pain.
Take time to open your heart to him. I know exposing your heart and mind seems much easier to say than do, but this is one of the many things the Holy Spirit is absolutely brilliant at, and does it with such love, joy, peace, and grace, you’ll wonder why you ever hesitated.
“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ And then, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:30-31).