See My Sense of Self: A Poem

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There are times when I struggle, wondering if it is okay to put my own self first, before others’ wishes for me. I believe in doing what my own heart says is best for me. Do you? I wrote a new poem with many thoughts circling in my head. Once the vocabulary came to rest on the computer screen, I pasted my poem about the self here.

See My Sense of Self

You see me but I don’t see you,
You see it is a version of me, virtual,
That you have come to know.

The issue is that I am more than a
Smiling photo, with lush vines growing between
Syllables and sweeping past doubts aside.

I am seeking light but
I cannot carry it all with me, and that is a
Sacrifice that comes with a reward of
Reaching for what I’ve been
Held back so long from achieving.

Here is my sense of self,
Here I am strong and focused,
Putting my own needs first.

I realize
That it is a proud moment.


©2014 Christy Birmingham

Estelle – Do My Thing feat. Janelle Monáe [Audio]



85 thoughts on “See My Sense of Self: A Poem

  1. Aquileana

    “You see me but I don’t see you”,..
    “You never get me, or I don’t get you”… (Two lines from the song that you added above).
    You know what I think we both see beyond virtual shapes and all..
    But sometimes we have problems to abate the effects of the distance (literally speaking).
    As far as YOU are you, I am already happy and proud of you (that was a concise accolade).
    Love from your virtual/real argentinian friend, Aquileana 😛


  2. rollyachabotbooks

    Good for you Christy, all part of your growth. One of the hardest things in life which took me years to accomplish was learning to forgive myself and looking after the me in me… huge step for you and proud of the round you have reclaimed as yours…

    Hugs from Alberta


  3. irinadim

    Your lines, Christy, express well what William Shakespeare advises through Polonius in Hamlet, “To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.”
    Yet, it takes a certain amount of maturity to arrive at this position, when you’re confident to be yourself, not feeling the need to please or impress others. So good for you, Christy.


  4. Stuff Jeff Reads

    Nice poem, Christy. For myself, I have found that there are times when I must put myself first, and time when I need to sacrifice for another. There is no hard-and-fast rule. Every situation is different.


  5. Maria F.

    Your poem is beautiful Christy, it reminds me of the “Metta” term in Buddhism:

    “The cultivation of benevolence (mettā bhāvanā) is a popular form of meditation in Buddhism. In the Theravadin Buddhist tradition, this practice begins with the meditator cultivating benevolence towards themselves, then one’s loved ones, friends, teachers, strangers, enemies, and finally towards all sentient beings. In the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, this practice is associated with tonglen (cf.), whereby one breathes out (“sends”) happiness and breathes in (“receives”) suffering. Tibetan Buddhists also practice contemplation of the Brahmavihāras, also called the four immeasurables, which is sometimes called ‘compassion meditation’.” -Wiki
    I’m also learning about this “Metta” term but the way I interpret it is that it’s the “universal” love (although they will not call it that, they will say “Metta”), but I’m still learning, and it starts “with the meditator cultivating benevolence towards themselves”, which is what your poem is alluding to, I believe. Thanks for sharing!


    1. Christy Birmingham Post author

      Maria, What a lovely way to look at this poem as being about ‘cultivating benevolence’ of the meditator towards themselves. It is about completing oneself before offering additional pieces to others; a pie, of sorts. That image just came to me. Many hugs to you for adding such lovely perspective with your comment here!


  6. Swetank

    Love to discover your sense of self.. my friend. This is the first time you have presented something different. I truly liked it! So as the song at last! 🙂

    As for my favorite part I loved these lines :

    “The issue is that I am more than a
    Smiling photo, with lush vines growing between
    Syllables and sweeping past doubts aside.”

    Beautifully done buddy!! 🙂

    Have a beautiful evening! Be Bettr, Stay Bettr! 🙂


  7. Letizia

    Beautiful words, Christy. You’re so right, we have to remind ourselves to be true to our own selves first, then we can give more to others anyway.

    And thank you for the tweet about my blog post – you’re always so sweet and the notification came on a tough day when a little gesture like that made a difference. Funny how little gestures can count, right? 🙂


  8. macjam47

    Beautiful words and a proud moment for sure. I love that you wrote
    “Here is my sense of self,
    Here I am strong and focused”
    This is the essence of who we all should be.


  9. Dee

    Your sentiment is not uncommon and one I’m sure we all follow on occasion. If you need some time for yourself in order to rejuvenate, it is not a bad thing. Love your poetry!


  10. annjohnsonmurphree

    Hi Christy…One year has gone by since you begin to follow my blog… so I am stopping by to let you know that I have put the site of “confessional poetry” to bed…working at new site as I am finish with five poetry books and now working on two separate drafts of fiction based on facts and characters created from my home state of Alabama.
    Thank you for following…ajm




  11. john liming

    Consider how the baby birds learn to fly on their own.

    They take instruction from their parents and they try and try to fly and they don’t always get it right at the beginning but then after awhile, they leap upward and soar gracefully just like all the rest of the birds.

    People are kind of like that sometimes.

    It is alright to experiment with what we think is best for us but when we do that we should be aware that we are going to fail sometimes and maybe even get hurt a little bit.

    But after awhile – like the little birds – we finally spread our wings and soar with the eagles and everything will have been worth the effort.


    1. Christy Birmingham Post author

      John, What a wonderful analogy you present here. It really is worth all of that effort in the end and so we soar and make the most of all we are given, while giving to others as we continue our journey 🙂


  12. Mike

    You’ve broken through an ancient wall Christy. Our thinking was hampered by well-meaning elders and unlearning all (most of) that -s quite painful – I’m sure you’ve felt it. Saying ‘no’ was the most empowering thing I ever did. You’re poem is a powerful and touching salute to self – nice work.


  13. Uncle Tree

    Good questioning, Christy! 🙂 In case you’re wondering,
    aging doesn’t help one with ready answers,
    the questions just get longer.
    😉 Peace and luvz,
    Uncle Tree


  14. cav12

    Putting oneself before others is not easy and I still struggle with it today. I find it hard to say no but as I get older, I am learning it’s okay to start looking out for me!
    Do love your poem Christy. 😀


  15. D.G.Kaye

    You go girl! We must love ourselves and be happy within before we can truly love anyone else who give freely with a happy heart. You know the way sweet Christy. 🙂



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