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Life Lessons from Charlie Chaplin

Life Lessons from Charlie Chaplin

A friend of mine, Kerstin, sent me the speech that Charlie Chaplin gave on his 70th birthday. I found it beautiful and ever so true. Here’s an excerpt:
 
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 own truth.
Today, I know, this is "AUTHENTICITY."
As I began to love myself I understood how much it can offend somebody
As 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."
. . .     
 
Please pass this onto your friends and family. It's a special reminder of what life is really about and what we eventually all come to learn. Be gentle on yourself and light on life. No more disapproval of self. It's the biggest obstacle to your dreams. Through loving yourself, you'll be able to access all that happiness and joy that is just below that inner critical voice.
 
Read the rest of Charlie Chaplin’s inspiring speech.

Posted: 2/24/10
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Angelone

This is the most helpful item I have received on the 30 Day Change e-mails. Helpful because it confirmed what I was not completely clear about: that our relationship with others is really just a reflection of our relationship with ourselves. Helpful because it reveals something new that I was not aware of before that can lead me further in my own growth: "As I began to love myself I understood how much it can offend somebody as I try to force my desires on this person, even thoughI knew the time was not right and the person was not ready for it, and even though this person was me."
It brings up the question for me of: how do I know when I am being too forceful, and so not gentle enough, with myself and so with others? It is enlightening for me to hear that the force I show towards others backfires because I am not clear on the degree of force I am using towards myself--I am not being true to myself in this, and so anguish and suffering results for both people. That carries further to: later in the passage, when he says not to fear confrontation and arguments. Which suggests force to me. And tonight I realized also that I am hardier than I thought and can stand confrontation or forcing myself to do something which I thought I couldn't. So a lot of interesting questions were raised for me on this and on another call before reading this passage. The question of gentleness and force--I do no know myself as much as I thought I did--it opens up a new possibililty to explore, which is very exciting to me. When am I being too gentle with myself (and others) and when am I being too forceful with myself (and others) , and how do I learn to discern this difference in advance without mucking things up in a huge way? To clarify what I am saying here is: I have been in a situation with somone where I was too forceful and said things which were premature for the relationship--so this whole passage I've written is totally about my own experience. I apparently opened up heartwise without being aware clearly of where the other person was emotionally--I must have been almost blind or completely missing something huge about what i was perceiving in the other person. Because it all backfired and led to much suffering for us both. Maybe it was both of us being blind to each other's and our own use of force vs. gentleness and the degree of readiness we are both in.
So I guess i can't tell in advance if I'm going to muck things up on this issue because it is an unkown and new to me. And to be grateful for the learning I am engaged in now with this and this other person. And to give myself some credit for taking a risk and asking this other person for what i needed at the time and to realize that we can't know in advance whether an action will much things up or not--it is all experimentation and trial and error, and that is what the learning process is in a relationship or in anything we are learning. Forgiveness, patience, and love of ourselves and others are necessary, very hard for me, and trusting of the process of learning to get to know another person, very hard for me, too. And I have already mucked up this comment, having said too much and probably have been too forceful! So I am going to close before the muck/mud gets any deeper! Ha! Thanks for listening, and i hope I haven't stuck my proverbial foot into my muddy mouth here! I guess forgiveness and patience and love of myself is a huge ongoing task, isn't it? Such is life, I guess! Ha! Take care, all. Sharon