learn to love yourself

Learn To Love Yourself – Just The Way You Are

In our ultimate search for happiness, we often forget that we need to love ourselves, before we can love anyone else. I always tell my friends: You need to learn to love yourself, just the way you are, with all your flaws and weaknesses. This is what the beautiful poem Laughing Hearts by Charles Bukowski speaks to me about.

Laughing Hearts
Laughing Hearts, original drawing by ArtByHeart

Your life is your life
Don’t let it be clubbed into dark submission.
Be on the watch.
There are ways out.
There is a light somewhere.
It may not be much light but
It beats the darkness.
Be on the watch.

 The gods will offer you chances.
Know them.

Laughing Hearts
Laughing Hearts, original drawing by ArtByHeart

Take them.
You can’t beat death but
You can beat death in life, sometimes.
And the
more often you learn to do it,
The more light there will be.
Your life is your life.
Know it while you have it.

You are marvellous
The gods wait to delight
in you.

“The Laughing Heart” Charles Bukowski

Charles Bukowski has always been one of my favorite poets. I love his poems as much as his ability make fun of his dysfunctional lifestyle, his drunkenness and womanizing ways with a healthy dose of selfirony, instead of wallowing in self-loath.

His poem “The Laughing Heart” has always whispered to me louder than all the people shouting to me, trying to push me here or there, making choices for me thinking they knew better to which direction I should head and how I should live my life.

Just The Way You Are

Your life is your life and nobody else’s.  Don’t let anyone tell you what you suppose to do. If you listen to your own heart, you can’t go wrong,  you are good just the way you are!

Your know deep inside that you should be allowed to make your own mistakes, because it is you who has to live with the consequences. You are the one who has to just drag yourself from one day to an other without really living at all.

You have been pushed into the corner, denied the possibility to make your own choices and live by them. Your are standing your back against the wall and you you feel the urge to escape, but are clueless how to break free.

Picture in your head that somewhere in this world there is a street that bears your name. Now imagine that it is up to you to turn the sign until it points into the direction that you want to take.

Mira street sign
Mira street sign in New Zealand

If you are unsure to which direction to point it at, test it out. Don’t sit and wait for someone else to tell you what to do or a divine intervention to push you onto the right path. You will end up getting stuck in the same old rut.

Take a peek around the corner and test the waters with your toe tips, the water will appear cold at first because of the chance in temperature.

Sit and wait for a moment, wait for your body to adjust. If the temperature becomes bearable after few minutes, jump in the deep end, feet first.

Test the waters
Test the waters

Do not hold back, go in all the way. Remember that most of the time, it’s possible to turn back if we don’t like the direction our life is taking. If it leads us into the darkness instead of light.

There is always a way out and you are heading towards it! You can already see some light in the end of a dark tunnel, that’s why you started your journey in the first place!

Sometimes the chance comes easily, naturally like it would always have been this way. Other times we just have to travel a longer distance that we thought to get there.

Sunset at Chiemsee, Bavaria, German Alps.
Sunset at Chiemsee, Bavaria, German Alps.

Imagine that you are standing at the short of a lake. The sun is setting and you are staring at the amazing display of colors. They blend into the clouds and the  water is reflecting them playfully. The beach in front of you appears black and colorless, the distant horizon is filled with deep shadows.

Closer look at the sunset at Chiemsee, Bavaria, German Alps
Closer look at the sunset at Chiemsee, Bavaria, German Alps

The closer you look, the brighter the colors appear. You are amazed by the shapes the clouds are forming, how prominent the orange and red colors have become! All the shadows and the darkness, which filled half of your vision seem to have disappeared into the gorgeous display of beauty.

Even closer look at the sunset at Chiemsee, Bavaria, German Alps
Even closer look at the sunset at Chiemsee, Bavaria, German Alps

Look again. This time even closer. You notice that the sky is on fire and the sea has turned into liquid gold. You suddenly notice the sailing boat that appeared from out of nowhere and has taken a central stage in this display of beauty. You feel jealous of the view the people on the deck are having right now.

Now imagine you would swim across the lake to that sailboat. You would climb aboard and stand on the deck watching the burning golden show of light straight in front of you. It’s so bright that you feel it burning your skin.

Wasn’t it worth the final push, even if you almost drowned out of exhaustion, to get there in time, before the sun set into the horizon, before the darkness closed in and surrounded you.

You Are Marvelous Just The Way You Are

Smile, look yourself in the mirror. See the difference it makes. How it softens your face and softens out the wrinkles. See that light shining in your eyes? That off feeling of peace in your heart? It’s called happiness and I bet it’s there to stay.

Look back to your journey taking delight in the things you learned on your way. Think about how you got up every time you fell and continued instead of giving up and returning where you came from. Your heart aches remembering all the people you met on your journey.

Some held your hand, made your heart skip a beat and put a twinkle in your eyes. Others pushed you to the side, shouted insults at you in their hurry to get ahead. Some stayed with you walking quietly by your side, becoming a part of yourself.

Be proud of yourself and of your accomplishment. You prevailed and lived to tell the tale. You beat the odds, you managed what most people are never be able to do. You are on your way to happiness.

It’s never too late, there is always enough time to reach for the shore, always adequate strength for those final meters across the water, to become  what you want to be, to get where the Gods will delight in you.

Guiding light in the darkness.
Guiding light in the darkness.

And once you get there, you can be the guiding light for the others. After all you have made it and taken control of your own life, made the chance for better and learned to love yourself, just the way you are.

Like a lighthouse standing tall at the shore, shining it’s loving gentle beam to the ones who still struggle in the darkness, stumbling over stones and branches on their struggle to reach the shore. Watching over the beautiful lake, taking delight in being able to help others to reach the shore and lead them on their final meters into the golden light.

Love and Light,

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14 thoughts on “Learn To Love Yourself – Just The Way You Are”

  1. Hello Hanna
    I don´t know much about poetry. I read a lot but no poetry, I don´t know why.
    it is true that you firts have to love yourself, before helping others. You need to accept yourself and be agree with you.
    When I look to mirrow in the morning, I see a wonderfull, laughing person, who knows were to go and what to do with her life. I am happy to be me.

    Thanks for your article, it was nice to read it.

    loving Inka

    1. Hi Inka, I am happy you agree with me. I myself really love both reading and writing poems, they especially help me when my heart is aching. Making a change starts with oneself. You need to accept who you truly are and then examine if you like yourself a lot. For many people it takes a long time to realize what they want from life. Sounds like you have found happiness in life and this is really special, hold onto it.

  2. Hey Mira:

    Thank you! A beautiful post! I love that you started it with Bukowski’s poem. He is such an adorable bad boy….

    And I agree. Your life is yours to live as you choose, but you do have to choose. Nobody else can hand it to you.

    Wish I had a street with my name on it….

    1. Hi Netta! You are very welcome 🙂 So sad how many people don’t even realise they have a choice in life.

      Bukowski is wonderful, such raw poetry!

      The street sign for Mira street was found in such a funny way that I might write about it one day.

  3. An other great article, what an interpretation! I love his poems as well:
    If you’re going to try, go all the way.
    Namaste,
    Johannes

    1. Hi Johannes, thank you for an other insightful comment! I love this poem as well, it speaks loudly to me as I am starting a new adventure doing what I my heart tells me to do!

  4. Positive visualization is a key technique to improving your mental state. I see that you encourage that a lot in this article, i.e. the sign post with your name on it etc.
    People often use the “light at the end of the tunnel” illustration, but more often than not they have a negative spin on it.
    That achieves nothing. A positive attitude is essential.
    Thanks for the reminder.

    1. Hi Keith, thank you for dropping by and leaving a comment.

      Absolutely, that’s what my article is about, making a chance, leaving bad things in our life behind and reaching for happiness. Positive attitude can make such a difference in one’s life!

  5. Your post is lovely! I know that so many people give and give and give to others, but completely forget to nurture their own hearts and self. They are so quick to talk-down about their own self and so quick to give another a compliment. It’s time for others to remember to give a compliment to yourself every day and love the person you are; life’s learning lessons etched in your face. But, it’s worth it and the love and light come full-circle when given with an earnest heart.

    1. Hi Teri, thank you for dropping by and leaving a comment!

      It is true that many people selflessly nurture others and drain themselves in the process and only notice it when there is nothing more than an empty vessel left.

      We must learn to take care of ourselves before we reach out to assist others!

  6. I love Poetry! Thank you for sharing these poems ! I can see how this poem speaks to you and how another person can see things so differently when reading the same thing. These are positive enforcements to daily living. I’ll be stopping back to read more! What’s another one of your favorite Poets?

    1. Hi Melissa, thank you for your lovely comment 🙂
      I have many, I love poetry, it’s food for my soul. Being multilingual means I can enjoy poetry in many different languages, German Nelly Sachs speaks to me loudly. French author of Little Prince Antoine de Saint-Exupéry never stops to delight me. Swedish Karin Boye and Finnish Kirsi Kunnas were my childhood friends. Poetry flows out of my soul, Shakepeare was my first English speaking poetry that I started to enjoy at the age of 10. This morning this one popped into my mind:

      All that is gold does not glitter,Not all those who wander are lost;Deep roots are not reached by the frost. From the ashes a fire shall be woken,A light from the shadows shall spring;Renewed shall be blade that was broken, The crownless again shall be king

      J. R. R. Tolkien

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