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  • Mj Pettengill

As I Began to Love Myself


Solitude and Tranquility    (CC0 Max Pixel)
Solitude and Tranquility (CC0 MaxPixel)


As I Began to Love Myself

by Kim and Alison McMillen



As I began to love myself


I found that anguish and emotional suffering
 are only warning signs that I was living
 against my own truth.


Today I know this is Authenticity.


As I began to love myself


I understood how much it can offend somebody


if I try to force my desires on this person,


even though I knew the time was not right


and the person was not ready for it,


and even though this person was me.


Today I call this Respect.


As I began to love myself


I stopped craving for a different life,


and I could see that everything


that surrounded me


was inviting me to grow.


Today I call this Maturity.


As I began to love myself


I understood that at any circumstance,


I am in the right place at the right time,


and everything happens at the exactly right moment.


So I could be calm.


Today I call this Self-Confidence.


As I began to love myself


I quit stealing my own time,


and I stopped designing huge projects


for the future.


Today, I only do what brings me joy and happiness,


things I love to do and that make my heart cheer,


and I do them in my own way


and in my own rhythm.


Today I call this Simplicity.


As I began to love myself


I freed myself of anything


that is no good for my health—


food, people, things, situations,


and everything that drew me down


and away from myself.


At first, I called this attitude a healthy egoism.


Today I know it is Love of Oneself.


As I began to love myself


I quit trying to always be right,


and ever since


I was wrong less of the time.


Today I discovered that is Modesty.


As I began to love myself


I refused to go on living in the past


and worrying about the future.


Now, I only live for the moment,


where everything is happening.


Today I live each day,


day by day,


and I call it Fulfillment.


As I began to love myself


I recognized


that my mind can disturb me


and it can make me sick.


But as I connected it to my heart,


my mind became a valuable ally.


Today I call this connection Wisdom of the Heart.


We no longer need to fear arguments,


confrontations, or any kind of problems


with ourselves or others.


Even stars collide,


and out of their crashing, new worlds are born.


Today I know: This is Life!


**************************** This is the poem falsely attributed to Charlie Chaplin. I got to the bottom of who actually penned this. It's still a bit vague as far as the title and people simply wanting it to be Chaplin's work. I know that is what initially drew me to it. It's interesting how one's response to creative work can be shaped by knowing or not knowing the creator/artist. It's worth it to pause and wonder how many truly great artists are passed by because of being "unknown" or "not connected" to the right people, while others can spit on the page or canvas and sell a million copies/pieces of their work before it is even printed or presented.

Either way, this is a great poem. MjP