Aath’ma Sa’maan.

If translated literally means ‘soul respect’ but most people loosely translate it as ‘self respect’… Which if you know hindi, it kind of means less than aath’ma sa’maan… somehow even after translating it literally, it feels like there is a bit of meaning and depth that is lost…

“To have that sense of one’s intrinsic worth which constitutes self-respect is potentially to have everything: the ability to discriminate, to love and to remain indifferent. To lack it is to be locked within oneself, paradoxically incapable of either love or indifference.” -Joan Didion

Self respect= proper esteem or regard for the dignity of one’s character -as quoted from .

Hmmm… I learnt what it meant the hard way… It took two years of someone walking all over me- for me to realise that I was worth being treated differently. It’s quite fascinating that as healthy as it is for every individual to have a good level of self-respect, many people just have no concepts of their own self-respect.

I Love Me!We are sooo able to respect our elders and parents and loved ones and friends…  and even authority. We even fight with people when they are being disrespectful to those close to us… Yet when it comes down to our own self-respect, we somehow allow others to get away with disrespecting us, our values or our beliefs.

Why?? Why say nothing when being disrespected?  To keep peace and harmony in your relationships? To let it go- just this once- and give the other person the benefit of a doubt that they won’t do the same thing again?

Let it go once and you have just taught this other person that it is ok to treat you that way. We teach others how to treat us- when we stop them and tell them, that we are not cool with something, they learn that there is a boundary there- that they are not allowed to cross it, because it is hurtful to you.

However let it go- just this once- and you have taught them that you don’t have a boundary there, you haven’t objected to anything so it must be ‘ok’ with you. And after that it happens over and over again- eventually you pop with all this insult that you have tolerated, and the other person doesn’t have a clue as to what the problem is. (For them it was ‘ok’ with you all this time)

First Love!For some, like the old me, we don’t see it as disrespect because we don’t value ourselves to be worth different treatment. I used to constantly apologise (even if I wasn’t at fault) and think that every small big thing was my fault… When in truth I wasn’t the only one in the relationship- nothing that ever happened was only due to my actions… yet that is how relationships proceeded… I said ‘sorry’ for everything and found myself to be at fault for everything- and my counterpart in one relationship continued to do whatever they pleased until…

Until I felt too drained of energy to continue the relationship… And it wasn’t after quite a bit of growth- that I learnt why I felt the need to be out of that specific relationship… that I started to value myself. This blog says it all so beautifully-

Love Yourself!Each and everyone is a child of God, we all come from the same ocean of love- regardless of what you call that higher power. The same way every parent unconditionally loves their child- so too does God. If we are worthy of love in his eyes, how can we lose any value in our own eyes?

And the universe has tested me too! Just to see if I have really learnt my lesson, if I really do have a good level of self-respect… it had sent people my way who attempt to walk all over me- my self-respect doesn’t allow it.

The other day as I talked with a friend I realised that maybe… just maybe their level of self-respect is lower than would be healthy… and I was indeed- being disrespectful- even though they didn’t realise it or object to it. I guess one should be very aware of words spoken and actions taken or not taken for in the long run… you could be causing injury in your relationships, effects of which will be felt later on in life…

Do you have a healthy self-respect?

How did you learn to respect yourself as well as you respect others?

Here’s six ways to build self-respect! –

( Picture 1 courtesy of=; Picture 2 courtesy of=; Picture 3 courtesy of= )


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Heena Writes
    May 19, 2011 @ 03:48:32

    Very well said Shilpa!

    Loving yourself and respecting your self is the first step to healing! We are so used to putting ourselves down through the chatter that goes on in our own little heads… think about all the degrading and ridiculously horrible things we say to ourselves – “I’m so stupid”, “I just can’t do anything right”, “I don’t deserve happiness or love or a wonderful relationship, because I’m so useless” etc. It’s no wonder we allow people to walk all over us…

    Learn to love and respect yourself and the world will love and respect you!


    • Shil Rani
      May 19, 2011 @ 10:46:15

      Thanks Heena!

      Too true… usually those words that put us down has come from the people in world around us… They continue to put us down and we eventually believe their opinions of us as the truth of who we are. It is important to change the way we talk to ourselves- it is important to love ourselves to the extent that we don’t tolerate crap thrown our way. Really living an awesome and loved filled life starts with loving yourself and maintaining your self-respect.


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