Wisdom of an aging Charlie Chaplin about the joy of the now

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Charlie Chaplin’s Unforgettable

70th Birthday Poem

This is a poem by Charlie Chaplin, written on his 70th birthday, on April 16, 1959. It is an utterly inspiring self-address that meant a great deal to me when I read it for the first time. It felt as if the great screen icon was communing with my spirit, understanding just what the journey of life is all about. I just had to share this touching and knowing poem with you, because I know it will ring true for many people like me who feel they have grown with age.


When I started loving myself

I understood that I’m always and at any given opportunity

In the right place at the right time.

And I understood that all that happens is right –

From then on I could be calm.

Today I know: It’s called TRUST.


When I started to love myself I understood

How much it can offend somebody

When I tried 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 know: It’s called LETTING GO


When I started loving myself

I could recognize that emotional pain and grief

Are just warnings for me to not live against my own truth.

Today I know: It’s called AUTHENTICALLY BEING.


When I started loving myself

I stopped longing for another life

And could see that everything around me was a request to grow.

Today I know: It’s called MATURITY.


When I started loving myself

I stopped depriving myself of my free time

And stopped sketching further magnificent projects for the future.

Today I only do what’s fun and joyful for me,

What I love and what makes my heart laugh,

In my own way and in my tempo.

Today I know: it’s called HONESTY.

When I started loving myself

I escaped from all that wasn’t healthy for me,

From dishes, people, things, situations

And from everything pulling me down and away from myself.

In the beginning I called it “healthy egoism”,

But today I know: it’s called SELF-LOVE.


When I started loving myself

I stopped wanting to be always right

Thus I’ve been less wrong.

Today I’ve recognized: it’s called HUMILITY.


When I started loving myself

I refused to live further in the past

And worry about my future.

Now I live only at this moment where EVERYTHING takes place,

Like this I live every day and I call it CONSCIOUSNESS.


When I started loving myself

I recognized, that my thinking

Can make me miserable and sick.

When I requested for my heart forces,

My mind got an important partner.

Today I call this connection HEART WISDOM.


We do not need to fear further discussions,

Conflicts and problems with ourselves and others

Since even stars sometimes bang on each other

And create new worlds.

Today I know: THIS IS LIFE!


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