At first, I found it very annoying. I'm not good at this kind of thing.
Then I remembered that the book said that the "self-love" meditation can be the hardest of all meditations. When beginning a meditation practice, starting with something well-loved, like a child, a beloved teacher or life-long friend provides an easier path.
But what's the point? This sitting still, thinking the same ideas over and over again is very difficult. And what's the point, anyways?
When I was in elementary school, my older brother challenged me to a bet one day. He said, "Put your arms out to your sides."
I did as he said. "I bet you can't hold them there for five minutes!"
"I bet I can!" I replied.
Well, I won the bet, but it was not easy.
Intellectually, I think there are at least two points to meditation. The first is practice. The same way it is easy to hold out one's arms for a short period of time, it's a cinch to think about anything for a moment (or a micro-moment.) What is harder, is to stick to something when it gets hard. The practice is the practice of placing my attention where I choose to place it. By giving myself an exercise that pushes me beyond the limits of what I do easily, I'm building strength.
The second intellectual point can be understood through the cognitive psychology research that has been done around the idea of priming. When I use a period of meditation at the beginning of the day to think quietly about what I choose to become, I am priming my mind. I'm setting the lens through which I will experience at least some of the day!
I am going to keep trying. Barb is right. Loving-kindness doesn't fit all situations. But I like to push myself beyond what I can already do. And I like being strong.