Liking yourself is not always easy—poem

Drawing of a woman dancing and smiling. In her pocket is a smaller version of herself, crying.
Love yourself: it’s a cliche. But some bits can be hard to like.

Love yourself. Or if that’s too big an ask, at least try to like yourself. Sounds easy, right? But if it were that easy, why do so many singers, bloggers, therapists and well-meaning strangers earnestly instruct us how to do it, again and again and again?

The like of me

I want to like all of me
not only the me in slippers now
but the me in a weeping Honda
in a different century

I want to like all of me
not just the sensible me
but the dumb and desperate  
messed-up me

It's easy to like the presentable me
the on-to-it over-it into-it me
who scrubs up well and brazenly
dares to be nice 
and offer advice
for free

I want to forgive that me
who did her best but did it wrong
and now can only sing the song
of a sorry sorry sorry she

I want to start liking the me
who wasn't me
who was only a hint of the like of me
I want to forgive the me of me
kiss her better
set her free

carry her safe in a pocket
and let her see 
a world that survived regardless
even some who are able to love 
the grown-up me
and would (if she'd only agree)

let her sleep
and let her be.

~ Rachel McAlpine, 30 November 2021 ~

Ever feel like that? That liking yourself is not that simple? If so, you are not alone. After living a few score decades, nearly everyone has some private regrets. Possibly even your dearest friends. We do change. Sometimes it seems, that’s not enough. But it is enough. I know that, really.

The Like of Me is an instant poem. That’s how they arrive, like a jingle or a song. Not fancy, not polished. But I share them anyway, in case these thoughts and feelings resonate with you.

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16 thoughts on “Liking yourself is not always easy—poem

  1. josaiawrites says:

    Fits right in with my most recent blog post about the challenge of self forgiveness….. Thank you for this post! I enjoy your posts!

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Thank you, Josaia.

  2. You hit a home run . . . simple and to the point, thank you, Claudia

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Thank you, Claudia. With such topics, for me the fewer words the better.

  3. Hi Rachel! Thanks for this instant poem. After getting the results of my health tests today and learning that the problems were of my own unknowing making, I do need to forgive the me of me. Thanks for showing the way! –Timi

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Oh, what a story. Did you almost laugh through your tears? Yes, now more than ever you had better show that you plenty of kindness 🙂

  4. Fabulous poem, Rachel. I especially identify with TRYING to still like me when I’m the dumb and desperate messed-up me!

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      That’s almost impossible. But maybe the other you could do it? Some day. Take a break…

  5. Anonymous says:

    Lovely poem Rachel which surely does resonate with me now aged 66 years and an official state pensioner ( received pension July 2021 oooooh). The weeping Honda in a different century seemed to hit home as I will be collecting my 21 year old civic sport model today from the garage after servicing & mot. Mechanic told me a lot of work to be done which may not be worth doing dependent on how important the car was to me. I ‘filled up’ at this point as the car had been a big part of my life and he said he understood. He later called to say ‘the car is worth saving’ which seems abit like me at the moment.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Hello Margaret of Smiling Coasts! That’s one thing I didn’t expect: that the weeping Honda (Civic) would mean so much to you. I’m impressed that you have one that’s 21 years old, and a mechanic who appreciates its value. Good job!

  6. alison41 says:

    What a lovely poem, and how it resonated with me. Thank you for sharing it.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Thank you for letting me know this, Alison.

  7. Cathy Cade says:

    I prefer to forget that me… but she pops up from time to time to remind me.
    Why is it never the other me that raises her head when I’m trying to get to sleep?

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Yeah! Those other mes have a certain schedule. Next time I’m going to give mine a hug and put her in my pocket instead of beating her up.

  8. Here’s to all the you’s and me’s of the world, whether appreciated, forgiven, or forgotten. We all matter!

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      That’s a lovely message for us all. Thank you Peter.

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