Nothing can tell us so much about the general lawlessness of humanity as a perfect acquaintance with our own immoderate behavior. If we would think over our own impulses, we would recognize in our own souls the guiding principle of all vices which we reproach in other people; and if it is not in our very actions, it will be present at least in our impulses. There is no malice that self-love will not offer to our spirits so that we may exploit any occasion, and there are few people virtuous enough not to be tempted.
Magdeleine Sable (c. 1599 - 1678)
Source: the Marquise Sablé’s work is in Maxims and Various Thoughts (Maximes et pensées diverses) 1678
I am a feminist, and what that means to me is much the same as the meaning of the fact that I am Black: it means that I must undertake to love myself and to respect myself as though my very life depends upon self-love and self-respect.
The many meanings of "I Love You" "I love you" [is] a statement that can be expressed in so many varied ways. It may be a stage song, repeated daily without any meaning, or a barely audible murmur, full of surrender. Sometimes it means: I desire you or I want you sexually. It may mean: I hope you love me or I hope that I will be able to love you. Often it means: it may be that a love relationship can develop between us or even I hate you. Often it is a wish for emotional exchange: I want your admiration in exchange for mine or I give my love in exchange for some passion or I want to feel cozy and at home with you or I admire some of your qualities. A declaration of love is mostly a request: I desire you or I want you to gratify me, or I want your protection or I want to be intimate with you or I want to exploit your loveliness. Sometimes it is the need for security and tenderness, for parental treatment. It may mean: my self love goes out to you. But it may also express submissiveness: please take me as I am, or I feel guilty about you, I want, through you, to correct the mistakes I have made in human relations. It may be self-sacrifice and a masochistic wish for dependency. However, it may also be a full affirmation of the other, taking the responsibility for mutual exchange of feelings. It may be a weak feeling of friendliness, it may be the scarcely even whispered expression of ecstasy "I love you, " - wish, desire, submission, conquest: it is never the world itself that tells the real meaning here.
It is possible to have a strong self-love without any self-satisfaction, rather with a self-discontent which is the more intense because one's own little core of egoistic sensibility is a supreme care.
What men have called friendship is only a social arrangement, a mutual adjustment of interests, an interchange of services given and received; it is, in sum, simply a business from which those involved propose to derive a steady profit for their own self-love.
Duc de La Rochefoucauld (1613 - 1680)
Source: Sentences et Maximes Morales, no. 83 (1678)