Well here we are in the month of St. Valentine’s day, this time of year we think about the ways we show others in our life the love we have for them; but what about the love for ourselves?
Well it turns out, Sir Charles Spencer "Charlie" Chaplin, considered one of the most influential actors in cinematic history and was famous for his great sense of humor and slapstick comedy skills had much to say about self-love and the heart.
Chaplin begins in self-reflection by saying…
“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’”.
So, how many times do we find ourselves ignoring or masking the anguish of emotional suffering, believing it to be temporary or just a phase. When in fact we should embrace our authentic self for what it is in the moment...trying to hide or run from these feelings can be quite damaging to our self.
“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’”.
Here I find it interesting that he points out the forcing of his desires even though he knew at the time wasn’t right for himself. I find myself many times in my life sacrificing myself which in fact showed distrust for my own feelings and thoughts.
He goes on to say…
“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’”.
Interesting enough I have had that craving for a different life feeling throughout my life; however after my accident I no longer crave anything other than living and loving who I am for what I am. Now some of this may come with age, but the profound change in my life was accepting who I am and all the wonderful things I bring to the world, as Charlie says maturity right?
In many of my speaking engagements I often talk about what makes your heart sing! Chaplain addresses this next, by calling out how we steal time from ourselves. This search for happiness quest borrows time from the present moment by thinking about future things such as money and/or status.
“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’”.
“The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely.”
― C.G. Jung
“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’”.
Here's another of one of those coming with maturity themes, it’s not about being right or wrong. It’s about being true to ones self. The beautiful part about this is, being wrong also allows us to learn and understand ourselves better in loving way. Accepting that yes we will make mistakes and still have an opportunity to grow from it.
“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’”.
Next Chaplin discusses, living in the moment, as we all deal with all the distractions of social media and the work/life debate it seems that living in the now is literally impossible at times. At times fulfillment seems like an obscure vision, however the more we live in the past or look to the future the more intangible fulfillment is.
“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’”.
I love this concept of “Wisdom of the heart”, it somehow connects the ability to make the connections that our heart really guides our mind. Why ignore it? Embrace your heart and your mind will follow…
“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’!”
Charlie with all his slapstick humor really closes out by saying yes will have disagreements with ourselves and other at times; but out of it will come opportunities to love others and ourselves in different ways!
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Source: My Autobiography by Charlie Chaplin