Sir Charles Spencer “Charlie” Chaplin, (April 16, 1889 – December 25, 1977) was a British comic actor and filmmaker who rose to fame in the silent era.
Chaplin became a worldwide icon through his screen persona “The Tramp” and is considered one of the most important figures of the film industry. His career spanned more than 75 years, from Victorian music hall until close to his death at the age of 88, and encompassed both adulation and controversy.
Charlie Chaplin wrote this poem for his 70th birthday.
AS I BEGAN TO LOVE MYSELF
As I began to love myself I found that anguish and emotional suffering
are only warning signs that I was living against my emotional truth.
Today, I know, this is “AUTHENTICITY.”
As I began to love myself I understood how much it could offend somebody
As I try to force my desires on this person, even though I know the time
was not right and this 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 began to stop craving a different life,
and I could see that everything surrounding me was inviting me to grow.
Today I call it “MATURITY.”
As I began to love myself I began to understand that at any circumstance,
I am in the right place at the right time, and everything happens
at exactly the right moment. So I could be calm.
Today I call it “SELF-CONFIDENCE.”
As I began to love myself I quit steeling my own time,
and I stopped designing huge projects for the future.
Today I only do what brings me joy and happiness, things that 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 from 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 worry
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.”
AsI began to love myself I began to see that my mind can disturb me
and can make me sick. But as I connected 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 kinds of problems
with ourselves or others. Even stars collide, and out of their crashing
new worlds are born. Today I know “THAT IS LIFE”!