A poem read by Charlie Chaplin on his 70th birthday (April 16, 1959), originally written by Kim 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 it “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 it “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 it “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 it “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 “THAT IS LIFE”!
THIS IS WHAT I KNOW NOW IS THAT I COME FIRST BEFORE ANY HUMAN, BECAUSE IF YOU LET ANY ONE HAVE CONTROL OVER MAKING ME HAPPY IS NOT A GOOD START,AFTER GETTING CLEAN FROM DRUGS AND ALCOHOL I REALIZE THAT I NO LONGER NEEDED APPROVAL FOR ANY ONE ELSE TO MAKE ME HAPPY. I BEEN CLEAN FOR 15YRS. AND IT IS AMAZING HOW I LEARN THAT IT IS ALL ABOUT ME, I LEARN HOW TO LOVE MYSELF FIRST I HAVE NOT HAVE A COMPANION IN ABOUT TEN YRS. AND IT IS OK BEING WITH MYSELF IS NOT BAD AT ALL WHY BECAUSE I LOVE MYSELF. I AM OK WITH BEING BY MYSELF GOING TO THE MOVIES BY MYSELF JUST DOING THINGS WITH ME MY A WONDERFUL FEELING
amazing ….true realization
Words prove that it’s about someone great
I found his words to be inspiring and made me reconsider some of the hard decision I have 2 make in my life right now words spoken or in this case read at the right time can be healing
I looooe this!
Absolutely right on. It fescribes healthy narcissism as opposed to pathological narcissism
Love it, know it already inside but often it is lost, good have a reminder of what it is really all about?Angela Country Donegal
full of wisdom i can apply.. i love Charlie chaplins work???
MrChaplin was a brilliant man thank you for your poem
Kim McMillen did not write these words. Here is her poem:
Poemhunter.com has nothing for Mr. Chaplin. Perhaps it is an essay that he wrote.
I think you should remove the attribution to Ms. McMillen.
The words are quite meaningful though
When I loved myself enough…
When I loved myself enough I quit settling for too little.
When I loved myself enough I came to know my own goodness.
When I loved myself enough I began taking the gift of life seriously and gratefully.
When I loved myself enough I began to know I was in the right place at the right time and I could relax.
When I loved myself enough I felt compelled to slow down way down. And that has made all the difference.
When I loved myself enough I bought a feather bed.
When I loved myself enough I came to love being alone surrounded by silence, awed by its spell, listening to inner space.
When I loved myself enough I came to see I am not special but I am unique.
When I loved myself enough I redefined success and life became simple. Oh, the pleasure of that.
When I loved myself enough I came to know I am worthy of knowing God directly.
When I loved myself enough I began to see I didn’t have to chase after life. If I am quiet and hold still, life comes to me.
When I loved myself enough I gave up the belief that life is hard.
When I loved myself enough I came to see emotional pain is a signal I am operating outside truth.
When I loved myself enough I let the tomboy in me swing off the rope in Jackass Canyon. Yes!
When I loved myself enough I learned to meet my own needs and not call it selfish.
When I loved myself enough the parts of me long-ignored, the orphans of my soul, quit vying for attention. That was the beginning of inner peace. Then I began seeing clearly.
When I loved myself enough I began to see that desires of the heart do come, and I grew more patient and calm, except when I forgot.
When I loved myself enough I quit ignoring or tolerating my pain.
When I loved myself enough I started feeling all my feelings, not analysing them really feeling them. When I do, something amazing happens. Try it. You will see.
When I loved myself enough my heart became so tender it could welcome joy and sorrow equally.
When I loved myself enough I started meditating every day. This is a profound act of self-love.
When I loved myself enough I came to feel like a gift to the world and I collected beautiful ribbons and bows. They still hang on my wall to remind me.
When I loved myself enough I learned to ask ‘Who in me is feeling this way?’ when I feel anxious, angry, restless or sad. If I listen patiently I discover who needs my love.
When I loved myself enough I no longer needed things or people to make me feel safe.
My judgement called it disloyal. Now I see it as self-loving.
When I loved myself enough I gave up perfectionism that killer of joy.
When I loved myself enough I could tell the-truth about my gifts and my limitations.
When I loved myself enough I quit answering the telephone when I don’t want to talk.
When I loved myself enough forgiving others became irrelevant.
When I loved myself enough I could remember, during times of confusion, struggle or grief, that these too are part of me and deserve my love.
When I loved myself enough I could allow my heart to burst wide open and take in the pain of the world.
When I loved myself enough I started picking up litter on the street.
When I loved myself enough I could feel God in me and see God in you. That makes us divine! Are you ready for that?
When I loved myself enough I started writing about my life and views because I knew this was my right and my responsibility.
When I loved myself enough I began to see my purpose and gently wean myself from distractions.
When I loved myself enough I saw that what I resisted persisted like a small child tugging my skirt. Now I am curious and gentle when resistance comes tugging.
When I loved myself enough I learned to stop what I am doing, if even for a moment, and comfort the part of me that is scared.
When I loved myself enough I learned to say no when I want to and yes when I want to.
When I loved myself enough I saw beyond right and wrong and became neutral. At first I thought this was indifference; now I see the clarity that comes with neutrality.
When I loved myself enough I began to feed my hunger for solitude and revel in the inexplicable contentment that is its companion.
When I loved myself enough I could see how funny life is, how funny I am and how funny you are.
When I loved myself enough I recognised my courage and fear, my naivety and wisdom, and I make a place for each at my table.
When I loved myself enough I started treating myself to a massage at least once a month.
When I loved myself enough I realised I am never alone.
When I loved myself enough I stopped fearing empty time and quit making plans. Now I do what feels right and am in step with my own rhythms. Delicious!
When I loved myself enough I quit trying to impress my brother.
When I loved myself enough I stopped trying to banish the critical voices from my head. Now I say, Thankyou for your views’ and they feel heard. End of discussion.
When I loved myself enough I let the part of me that still misses Kent feel sad instead of trying to stop her from loving him.
When I loved myself enough I began buying a hostess fruit pie for the teenager in me who loves them so. Once in a while, cherry.
When I loved myself enough I quit trying to be a saviour for others.
When I loved myself enough I lost my fear of speaking my truth for I have come to see how good it is.
When I loved myself enough I began pouring my feelings into my journals. These loving companions speak my language. No translation needed.
When I loved myself enough I stopped seeking ‘experts’ and started living my life.
When I loved myself enough I came to see how my anger teaches about responsibility and my arrogance teaches about humility, so I listen to both carefully.
When I loved myself enough I started eating organically grown food (except for those occasional fruit pies of course).
When I loved myself enough I could be at ease with the comings and goings of judgement and despair.
When I loved myself enough I was able to be treated to a $50 haircut and enjoy every minute of it.
When I loved myself enough I quit having to be right which makes being wrong meaningless.
When I loved myself enough I learned to grieve for the hurts in life when they happen instead of making my heart heavy from lugging them around.
When I loved myself enough I forgave myself for all the times I thought I wasn’t good enough.
When I loved myself enough things got real quite inside. Real nice.
When I loved myself enough I began listening to the wisdom of my body. It speaks so clearly through its fatigue, sensitivities, aversions and hungers.
When I loved myself enough I quit fearing my fear.
When I loved myself enough I quit rehashing the past and worrying about the future – which keeps me in the present where aliveness lives.
When I loved myself enough I realized my mind can torment and deceive me, but in the service of my heart it is a great and noble ally.
When I loved myself enough I began to taste freedom.
When I loved myself enough I found my voice and wrote this little book.
How could Charlie Chaplin have read this in back in 1959, when Kim McMillen wrote (a version) of this in 1996??? Makes no sense! Also, she passed away later that same year. That being said, I love the message.
It was wise of Chaplin to even recognize the poem enough to share it.
He had his share of heartache, and even in the greatest peak of his success, he was banned from the US, as “un-American” When he returned to Hollywood to receive a lifetime Oscar Achievement he received the longest standing ovation in Oscar history. He was deeply moved, but obviously sad and somewhat broken from his years in exile in Switzerland.
He was quoted by a friend that day, as saying, “we had some good times, didn’t we? They are gone, but oh, we did have a good time.” Indicating to me that he was nostalgic for the times when his work was appreciated, that he was seen as an artist and not a political symbol.
On that same day, he was protected by guards, as, in 1972 he was still called “Commie,” and “Red” There was a huge debate as to whether or not – in 1972! – he should have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. And when they did put it in, they had to guard it for awhile to keep it from defacement.
And there, in the midst of the controversy – he had spoken of never returning to Hollywood ever again – he humbly took up his hat and cane and returned to this standing ovation. He was 83 on that day – and so – he would’ve recited this poem 13 years before, isolated, exiled into Switzerland, and feeling his art was lost and unappreciated.
I’m glad he achieved this sweet recognition before he left us. He was more than a director, more than a dancer, an actor, a singer, a songwriter, a gymnast, a mime, a writer. He was a gifted artist, and an inspiration to millions.
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Please stop. This has, through the years, been credited to Charlie Chaplin. It is however, a translated text from Kim Mcmillen’s book entitled “When I loved myself enough.” Chaplin did recite it on his 70th birthday; perhaps that is why it is so often attributed to him.
This doesn’t sound like Chaplin; the language is wrong. I believe that the poem “As I Began To Love Myself” was written by Kim McMillen, not Chaplin. Check out this link: http://www.amazon.com/When-I-Loved-Myself-Enough/dp/0283073373
All that is written here attributed to Chaplin, I too have come into realization with,over the past 25 years slowly. These are the knowings of the ages. So grateful to Chaplin for the reiteration of such great truths and I am grateful to me for the daily releasing of the past and its pain to live the true mature energy of Life! Forgiveness is key. The Grace that we are all here to learn what Chaplin wrote. This creates a living imagination, a free will, and a clear conscience. The Dalia Lama each day is reported to review each day and he cries. He heals where he could have been more compassionate. In the so doing he makes each day new. This is how we birth a new world.
Great words, from the silent movie star…