"Maitri is the basis of compassion. It is a Sanskrit word often translated as 'unconditional friendship with oneself'.
This is very hard to come by - an unconditional acceptance of yourself - an unconditional friendship with oneself.
It is much more common that we disapprove of ourselves or that we denigrate ourselves.

Maitri is about beginning to make friends with oneself, not really thinking that it is going to come from the outside anymore. As you know, we all look to the outside to other people, to spiritual practice, meditation... we look all over the place to try to make ourselves feel good about ourselves.

Maitri is this friendship, a kind of 'being able to relax with oneself', the feeling of being at home with your own mind and body. 

Not only is this the basis of compassion, it is also the seed of happiness. "                            -Pema Chödrön