I Have To Live With Myself

Today I am sharing an old poem by the ‘People’s Poet’ and it describes the importance of liking ourselves. This is an essential component of raising our self-worth, and strengthening our self-love.

From this foundation we all can see that challenges make life interesting, and the overcoming of them is what makes life worthwhile. We are strong enough for everything we find in our path.

friends with yourselfRemember Victor Hugo’s wisdom: “God doesn’t make fruit grow on branches too weak to bear its weight.” This old adage reminds us that if we are given a challenge it means we are up to it, and the stronger we are sometimes the tougher the obstacle. If we find our self in a rough patch, let’s hold our head high and know that we must be up to the challenge or it wouldn’t have landed in our lap.

Having faith in ourselves and our abilities is sometimes as simple as the ability to lift our heads up off the pillow. It is another day. A new day. And we are here, with our self. We must like ourselves. After all, we know ourselves the best, and we know how much we have been through. Sometimes when I take a moment to remember where I came from and all that I have been through, I cannot help but want to pat myself on the back. ‘Way to Go’, I cheer to myself. ‘I’m so glad you’re still here’. Try saying that to yourself and see how much better it makes you feel.


Written by Edgar A. Guest

I have to live with myself and so

I want to be fit for myself to know.

I want to be able as days go by,

Always to look myself straight in the eye;

I don’t want to stand with the setting sun

And hate myself for the things I have done.

I don’t want to keep on a closet shelf

A lot of secrets about myself

And fool myself as I come and go

Into thinking no one else will ever know

The kind of person I really am,

I don’t want to dress up myself in sham.

I want to go out with my head erect

I want to deserve men’s respect;

But here in the struggle for fame and pelf

I want to be able to like myself.

I don’t want to look at myself and know

I am bluster and bluff and empty show.

I never can hide myself from me;

I see what others may never see;

I know what others may never know,

I never can fool myself and so,

Whatever happens I want to be

Self-respecting and conscience free.

Edgar Guest (1881-1959) worked for more than sixty years at the Detroit Free Press, publishing his first poem at seventeen, then going on to become a reporter and columnist whose work was featured in hundreds of newspapers around the country. Guest is said to have written some 11,000 poems during his lifetime, most of it sentimental, upbeat verse. Critics may have occasionally derided his work, but America adored him. He was known as the “People’s Poet,” served as Michigan’s poet laureate, hosted a long-running radio show and TV show, and published more than twenty books.

Related Reading:
Paul Mark Sutherland found a wonderful verse from Edgar A. Guest.

Here’s a couple of my earlier posts with poems from Edgar A. Guest:

Post updated April 14, 2016: Corrected the word wealth from ‘But here in the struggle for fame and wealth’ to pelf, an old-fashioned word meaning “money, especially when gained in a dishonest or dishonorable way.” A helpful person pointed it out to me. I welcome source information and corrections. Please contact me through the sidebar link.

Author: Gina Day

I enjoy gathering uplifting things for sharing, with hopes of brightening the day.

22 thoughts on “I Have To Live With Myself”

  1. What a wonderful post! Thank you for sharing the importance of loving ourselves no matter what!!! I love the idea if telling ourselves, “Way to go! I’m so glad you’re still here!” I feel wonderful just typing it! Have a peace-FILLED day!

    1. Yay!! Thank you Kyia! I’m so glad this example of kind ‘self talk’ resonated with you. It felt great typing it to share for me too!
      Hugs from a fellow flag flyer for ‘Peace and Love of Humanity’

  2. Another lovely and very true post. We need to like our own company, so much better, I never get bored with myself, I always find something to entertain me. I think I am good company for myself! I love all your quotes!

    1. Ute you’re so right! You ARE good company for yourself, and that is a great thing to role model for others around you. Being able to comfortably spend time with our selves is a wonderful way to show ourselves true kindness. I like going swimming by myself, and occasionally my hubby goes to movies on his own if it’s something I don’t care to see, as he did back when he was a bachelor. We must be our own best friend first. Thanks as always for your kind comments! Hugs, Gina

  3. A great “read!” Thanks for your visits and support at Five Quick Minutes, we appreciate it. Enjoy your day…


  4. This is just lovely, Gina, and so true. Plus we are often given challenges that we need to master to grow, things we need to learn. Thanks for stopping by my blog. There isn’t enough time in the day to both work, take care of our lives and visit all the lovely people that make the blogosphere such a wonderful place to be. Like you!
    Take care, Jeanne

    1. Thanks so much Jeanne, and I sure know what you mean about not enough time! That’s why comments are such a wonderful way of remaining in touch. It was great catching up on your blog, and thanks for coming over for a visit too. I’m so glad you enjoyed this post.
      Take care as well, Gina

  5. I absolutely love this! I really needed this today. Thank you! I am going to share it among my friends. Thanks again!

  6. A beautiful and inspiring poem, thanks for sharing it Gina! It is a real blessing to read and embrace! I had slowed down the last six months because of illness, but i am feeling better and able to do a little more each day! It is always a blessing to read all that you share….it always lifts my heart and spirit. God bless!

    1. Wendell my friend, my blogging has been sporadic this summer and I’ve not followed my friends as closely as I wish. I am sorry to hear you have been battling an illness but am delighted that you are now on the mend and getting stronger every day. Thank Heavens! Your visits here and the incredibly inspiring poetry at your wonderful blog help brighten my world, and the lives of so many. God Bless you as well. Hugs, Gina

  7. Gina, there is a word in the couplet “And here in the struggle for fame and pelf, I want to be able to like myself.” that you (and others) have changed to “wealth” – which is incorrect, and should be changed back to the original word (“pelf”.) I learned this poem more than sixty years ago (at a time when no doubt people were more familiar with the word “pelf.”) – and it has always been a particular favorite of mine. (It was also a favorite of my mom’s, who has been gone nearly forty years.)

    1. Hello Fran. Thank you very much for pointing out the incorrect word in this wonderful old poem by Edgar A. Guest. I have corrected it to show ‘pelf’ (as he wrote it) instead of ‘wealth’ (as I had been misinformed). Again, thank you kindly for letting me know, and apologies for the delay as I have been away from this site for some time. Regards, Gina

Comments are closed.