All The Things You’re Not

I found a poem awhile ago that’s attributed to Ernest Hemingway and just loved it.  I don’t know what it’s official title is, but I’m dubbing it “All The Things You’re Not”.

So often we can get caught up in the material, the tangible, the outside stuff.  It’s easy to overlook and/or forget what truly makes each one of us individual and special, what defines us and what shouldn’t define us.  And what other people love about us, too.

It’s part of the reason I sometimes get a bit preachy about telling people you care, telling people you love them, telling people what they mean to you.  Aside from the fact that life is short (and as you age the reminders of this come almost daily), but it can be soooo easy for people to get down on themselves – myself included!  We need to be the light for one another, to encourage each other, to lift each other up.

I think it was writer Edith Wharton who said, “There two ways of spreading light:  to be the candle or to be the mirror that reflects it.”  Between Ms Wharton and Mr Hemingway, they sure do have a way with the words, right? 🙂  Enjoy the poem below!


***All The Things You’re Not***

You are not your age, nor the size of clothes you wear.

You are not a weight, or the color of your hair. 

You are not your name, or the dimples in your cheeks. 

You are all the books you read, and all the words you speak.

You are your croaky morning voice, and the smiles you try to hide. 

You’re the sweetness in your laughter, and every tear you’ve cried.

You’re the songs you sing so loudly when you know you’re all alone. 

You’re the places that you’ve been to, and the one that you call home.

You’re the things that you believe in, and the people that you love.

You’re the photos in your bedroom, and the future you dream of. 

You’re made of so much beauty but it seems that you forgot, when you decided that you were defined by all the things you’re not. 

– Ernest Hemingway


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