My first awakening, rude as it was, was in 1979. I was 32 years old, had won first prize in an architectural competition, and I was in a mental health facility as an inmate.
Depression... I was depressed...
I didn't know I was an empath, so I have no idea how much of what I felt was mine...
One day in the big circle I said something that got me thrown out of that big circle group.
Next day I was asked to do a test: find out what I like and what I don't. I spent a lot of time with that test, because, honestly, I didn't know. I didn't know what I liked and what I preferred.
They made me retake the test, and I failed again. Holy Mackerel... I had no "I". I mean I did have an "I" that threw its weight around, that won competitions, that got thrown out of groups, that pontificated and sympathized with people...
When you love yourself: you love your life. And that is the closest we know to be a happy person.
And you want to be happy, right? It feels like your birthright. Even though I can't specifically point at anyone who is happy... it IS your birthright.
Birthright or not birthright, we all want to be happy... even though no one has been able to explain how to become happy... so it seems that it will remain a desire... never to be fulfilled. Hope and hopeless... or resigned is our dominant state.
The closest experience to happiness is contentment, with life, with yourself.
When you love yourself you love your life... but how can you?