“This is my life. There are many like it but this one is mine!”

I recently listened to a Charles Bukowski poem entitled The Laughing Heart and the opening line of the poem sent chill waves up my spine, “Your life is your life.” The simplest of words stopped the movie playing in my mind that depicted me living a meaningless and directionless life. Before, the self-perceptions of self-defeat used to ricochet from one side of my brain to the other, never taking a break allowing me to find direction in my cluttered thoughts. As I hung on every line of the poem, a wave of contentment came over me because I felt as if the narrator stopped me, grabbed me by the shoulders, and recited Bukowski’s words. The emphasis on each word thrusted into my brain and I began to replay the day back in my head. I cringed at multiple moments of the day where I was pretending to satisfy someone else’s perception of me or wasted valuable time focused on temporary and insignificant things because I was told to focus on them.

By refusing to allow your life to be “clubbed into dank submission”, begin to stop seeking whom you want to be and just allow you to be…YOU. Much of our lives are directed by multiple things, including people, news, jobs, finances, and dozens of other obligations, never giving us quality time reserved to be who we want to be in the life we have been given. Many of us, myself included until recently, seek out and constantly obsess over a future version of ourselves, rather than allowing your present self to be the true depiction. YOU at this moment is the most accurate and precious version of yourself. There is no other you 10 years ago or 20 years from now. This is the only version of YOU that you and everyone else sees. Allow your beauty and creativity to flow and stop restraining yourself from allowing your true self to show.  

There is so much talent in each one of us, but somewhere along the way we allowed someone’s opinion to become our reality. People who prevent you from being yourself are the ones who have not found who they are yet, so their opinions are irrelevant since we are all on our own timeline in life. Each day, do something for you that speaks to your creativity, generosity, talents, and ideas. Take a chance on yourself and never stop being you, and yes we are made up of our flaws and accomplishments, and honestly that’s okay. The light within you is ready to shine and as the writer and poet Charles Bukowski said so eloquently in The Laughing Heart, “the gods wait to delight in YOU.”




Photo Credit: “The Crunch (first version) by Charles Bukowski (read by Tom O’Bedlam)”, YouTube.

Poem Credit: “The Laughing Heart”, Charles Bukowski.

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