What a find! When I Loved Myself Enough is a magnificent short book that I find very inspiring. The words of Kim McMillen are very profound, uplifting and thought provoking.
When I Loved Myself Enough was written in 1996 by Kim McMillen and published in 2001 by her daughter, Alison, because her mother died unexpectantly shortly after writing the book at the age of 52. I was really lucky to find this book as a result of looking into some words of Charlie Chaplin.
The words Kim uses in this book have touched me so deeply that I’ve added her to my Life Beacons list and entered a number of her phrases in the Quotes page.
It’s such a pity that Kim died young. I would have loved to have heard more of what she had to say. However, I also feel very thankful that she went to the trouble to write When I Loved Myself Enough. It’s such a treasure.
When I Loved Myself Enough – About the Author
This is what Alison wrote about her mother at the end of the book in the section “About the Author”;
My mother died in September of 1996, at the age of 52, only a few short months after writing this book. She was not ill and she didn’t know that she was going to die. Her death was very sudden and it deeply shocked everyone who knew her. It has been very difficult for me, as well as her friends and family, to cope with life without her. She died too young, and I am aware of her absence every waking moment.
One thing that has made grieving for her more tolerable has been this book. Following her lead, I continued to publish it out of my home. It has been extremely rewarding work. I have received countless letters and phone calls from people all over the world who have been touched by the wisdom of my mothers words. They tell me that they feel as though, through the book, they have come to know Kim McMillen. I could not agree more.
This book is my mother. Its message is what she spent years meditating on, reading and writing about, and experiencing. It is everything she believed in, and everything she brought me up to believe in. It is her autobiography, her declaration, her soul.
Even though she didn’t know she was nearing the end of her life, she knew on some level that she had to express the things that she had learned to be true. After many years filled with self doubt and self criticism, she decided to devote herself to finding self compassion. When she did, and was able to write her findings down for others to read, her life was complete, and sadly came to an end.
I have a constant ache in my heart, a longing to see here again in this world. She was an amazing mother, friend, writer, business consultant, chaplain, river runner, dog lover, neighbor, and woman. Although I miss her terribly, I am comforted by the knowledge that, as this book is the truest expression of who my mom was, in its continued existence, what she had to offer to the world will live on.
– Alison McMillen, January 2001
Do yourself a favor and get a copy of When I Loved Myself Enough. From her daughters words above, Kim story is one of a woman who fought, and succeeded, to get her life going in the right direction and she left behind the benefit of the knowledge she’d gained in doing so, making our way easier.
Thank You Kim!
Marie-Ellen Boolsen says
I bought the book after browsing through it in a bookshop and even as I left the shop I felt a kind of relief knowing that this little book would help me find the balance I need and become the joyous old woman that I would like to be..
I turned 70 late last year and find the onset of age related changes and the transition into what feels like the third and final stage of my life quite difficult. I often feel that I haven’t lived up to my potential and should have done more with what was given to me.
I am in the process of “redefining success” and have already felt the amazing relief that the simple act of reframing a belief can bring.
Thank you for keeping up your mom’s good work
Thanks for posting this comment Marie-Ellen. Please don’t feel like you should have done more with what you’ve been given. I believe that everything that has already happened in our lives has happened perfectly, just as it should have, to put us directly into the present moment that we are experiencing. The key is how we respond to this unique present moment we are in. How do we choose to be, who do we choose to be, now?
All the best,
annee martin says
Do you know how I can get a hold of Alison?
Unfortunately I don’t, Alison. If you look in the comments of the post “Charlie Chaplin, as I began to love myself“, you’ll see that Olaf had been in email contact with Alison, but I don’t have an email address.
Best of luck.
Grace Cameron says
I have an email address for Alison McMillan.
I found this post while (yet again over the years) searching for more info on Kim McMillen and Alison McMillen. I purchased “When I Loved Myself Enough” back in 2002 during a trying period in my life. It touched me so deeply. I’ve held onto this book and treasure it. I reread it occasionally, but not too often because it breaks my heart right open every single time and I end up in tears, although not necessarily bad tears. What a deep experience it offers. Today I tried to purchase a copy for a dear friend and saw that it must be out of print because I’m finding only used copies anywhere. I’m okay with that, will take a used copy over no copy at all. But, isn’t it dismaying that this gem of a book is not being printed now? I just don’t understand that… How could such an absolute treasure be allowed to quietly die? And why is there such a lack of information out there on this inspiring woman and her daughter who so generously gifted us this book? Maybe there was just nothing left to say. Perhaps Kim bequeathed all of us with her profound words and Alison has her own life to lead, and that’s that. Anyhow, thank you for this post and I’m looking very forward to browsing through your blog.
Thanks for your lovely comments. I agree that it’s dismaying that nobody is printing this book now. Not sure what to do about that.
You’ve definitely inspired me to go read it again.