Wednesday, 17 July 2013

When I Started Loving Myself, by Saviour Pirotta

In the summer of 1990, I worked briefly for Keith Prowse in London, selling theatre and concert tickets at their outlets on Shaftesbury Avenue.  Madonna had just embarked on her Blonde Ambition tour and tickets for her shows in the UK were selling like hot cakes. A producer who often popped into the shop to check out what was selling and what needed papering [ie giving out free tickets to make a flop look like a hit] told me what he thought was Madonna's secret recipe for success.

'She's only an average dancer and her voice is nothing to write home about.' he said, 'but what she does have in spades is a talent for having talent.  That woman will be around for decades.'

I took 'a talent for having talent' to mean the same thing as that famous line in the bible, recounted with delicious irony in the musical Godspell, 'If your light is under a bushel/you're missing something kind of crucial/you've got to be bright to be the light of the world.'

I was brought up to believe that 'blowing your own trumpet' was not the done thing but, in this day and age of the internet and social networking, uncovering the light under your bushel is more important than ever. The trouble, for me at least, is that to let my light shine, I need to believe more in myself and my talent.  I need to toughen up, or man ooop and take the soofering, as my mates at the gym would say. And, judging by what I hear at various SAS meets and dos, I'm not the only one.  I need to learn to ignore the negative reviews and celebrate the positive ones.  I need to celebrate the fact that some of my books are always in stock at Waterstones and not fret because some of them aren't.  In short, I need to start loving myself.  I actually googled that phrase and discovered this amazing poem attributed to Charlie Chaplin. It's actually his adaptation of a much earlier work, but the messages really resonates with me.  I hope you all take awaqy something from it.
When I started loving myself” - A poem by Charlie Chaplin written on his 70th birthday on April 16, 1959:

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 is 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 joy 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 what wasn’t healthy for me,
from dishes, people, things, situations
and from everyhting pulling me down and away from myself.
In the beginning I called it the “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 HUMBLENESS.

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!

Visit Saviour's website at


Actually, a re-translantion (from Portuguese-BR) of a text from the book "When I Loved Myself Enough" by Kim & Alison McMillen (2001).


Vanessa Harbour said...

This is wonderful and certainly resonates for me. Thank you for so many reasons for posting this

K.M.Lockwood said...

A joyful piece, Saviour.Here's a link for Waterstones - hardback book by the McMillens who created the original text:

Penny Dolan said...

It's good to have good thoughts to turn to, especially when life's gone grey for you.

Heather Dyer said...

Wow - fantastic! I've printed it out. Thanks.