Understanding Self Love

Ritu Bihani Agarwal
5 min readNov 15, 2020

Let me begin by asking a very simple question. What defines you as a person? What makes you “YOU”?

Until a few years back, for me it was my physical image, my bank balance, my relationship with my family and friends — their opinion about me used to be my self-identity. When others appreciated me I used to be on top of this world. However, any small criticism lead to low self-worth.

Around a year back when I was doing my daily household chores, my 5-year-old came running by. Super excited, he opened the refrigerator, poured some milk in a container and rushed to the garden. I ran behind him wondering what mischief he was up to. To my surprise he was feeding a hungry cat. There was a sparkle in his eye. He was so excited and full of joy and contentment. I stood there and silently observed him for the next full hour, without giving him any piece of advice which I normally could not hold back even for a short time. There was a sense of freedom in him, his feet were not holding him anymore, he would run with the breeze, smiling, opening his arms as if he could hold the whole world into it, smelling a magnificent rose and watching the clouds move. His expressions of a smile, a joyous heart, a kind soul and a beautiful human were all visible in those moments.

Small children are so pure, so simple for they are love themselves and they only know how to love themselves just the way they are. They know how to love instantly, trust easily, feel intimate with others immediately, free from restrains, make friends, share their toys, act spontaneously and almost fear nothing. Children are full of self love.

Did you know that an average kid smiles 300 times in a day whereas an adult only smiles 15 times.

Self Love is the foundation of all other relationships in your life, your financial success as well as for your radiant health. It is the most important ingredient for being world class.

The way you are in this world is a deep reflection of the way you perceive yourself. Your daily behavior is just a reflection of your deep beliefs. You can’t have a healthy relationship with other people if you don’t have a healthy relationship with yourself. You can’t be compassionate with others if you don’t practice self-compassion in your own life. You can’t uplift other’s lives if u can’t uplift your own. In the simplest words — You just cannot give what you don’t have.

The root of human distress is the sense of alienation from their own inner core being and harmony. We may be roaming about in the jungle of vanities and passions, of competitions and aggrandizements, of greed and lust. All of these may give us tepid relief, however none of these can satisfy the depth in us.

“If you are searching for that one source that will change your life, take a look in the mirror.”

The most lasting relationship you can have is only with yourself. your relationship with YOU is eternal. Ask yourself

· Do your enjoy your own presence?
· Are you content with yourself?
· Do you talk to yourself with respect?
· Do you treat your body with care?
· What are the self talk you consistently do with yourself?
· Do you communicate your needs clearly?
· Do you establish boundaries?
· Do you prioritise your well being and personal growth?

Dr. Wayne Dyer had once said, “If you don’t love yourself, nobody will. Not only that, you won’t be good at loving anyone else. Loving starts with the self.”

The doorway to success opens inwards. Loving yourself is not a one-day occurrence. It is not an easy job. When we do something below expectation, we may fall into the anxiousness of not being good enough, judging ourselves harshly instead of appreciating ourselves for at least trying.

Always remember one thing — At every moment we are doing the best we can. We need to choose ourselves over everything else every single day. When we love and accept ourselves exactly as we are, everything starts flowing in the right direction. Self-love is the key to positive changes in every area of your life. If you don’t believe you deserve fame, beauty, fortune, however much you may listen to these motivating talks or read books, your outer world will not change.

Life is simple, what we give out, we get back.

When you don’t love yourself, you start self-sabotaging. Neglecting your own health, weight gain, lack of exercise, constantly putting others first, blaming others for your life, picking fights with friends and partners, having trouble stating your needs, putting yourself down, self-harm, self-medication with drugs and alcohol, denial of self, self-defeating behavior are all signs of self-sabotage and indicate lack of self-love. I am not judging anyone here — just reporting some facts.

Remember the person in life that you will always be with most is only YOU. Even if you are with others, you are still with yourself. When you wake up in the morning you are with yourself. Laying in the bed at night you are with yourself.

Ask yourself what kind of person do you want to see at the end of the day before you fall asleep? I want to spend my life with a person who is full of love, who is able to smile without any reason and enjoy the very essence of life. So that’s exactly who I have to be.

Let me share a lovely story with you. Name of the story is Tomatoes. Maybe you have heard it before.

A teacher asked her students to bring some tomatoes in a plastic bag to school. Each tomato was to be given the name of a person whom that child hates. So, the number of tomatoes would be equal to the number of persons they hate.

On a pre-determined day, All the children brought their tomatoes well addressed. Some had two, some had three and some had five, some even had 20 tomatoes. The teacher then told them that they had to carry the tomatoes with them everywhere they go for two weeks. The children found this quite amusing and laughed and giggled.

However, As the days passed the children started to complain about the decay and smell of the tomatoes. The students who had many tomatoes complained it was very heavy to carry and the smell was too much for them. However, they had to go on with the task as there was no other option.

After a week, the teacher asked the students “How did you feel this week?” The children complained of the awful smell and heavy weight of the tomatoes, especially those who carried several tomatoes.

The teacher then said, “This is very similar to what you carry in your heart when you don’t like some people. Hatred makes the heart unhealthy and you carry that hatred everywhere. If you can’t bear the smell of spoilt tomatoes for a week, imagine the impact of bitterness on your heart as you carry it daily.”

This story taught me that the heart is a beautiful garden that needs regular cleaning of unwanted weeds. A flower spreads its own fragrance. Be that flower. Love yourself to spread love.

I hope you enjoyed. Please do comment, share and like and follow my social media accounts. Thank you.



Ritu Bihani Agarwal

Ritu Agarwal brings you episodes on Mindfulness and Holistic Life. Ritu is a certified Mental Health Practitioner and a Life Coach.