I first read the Desiderata when I broke up with my first husband. I had moved into a mate's house and it was on a poster, hanging on the back of the toilet door. So I read it - over and over that day until it made me cry. Especially one line, made me realise that I was actually something - not this useless, fat, piece of shit human being that I was led to believe throughout my first marriage, but a person of some importance. Not important to everyone, but important to someone. It was time to take back my self confidence that I had lost in that relationship, time to believe that I was worthy of love.
Its fair to say that the Desiderata changed my life. I have used it in times of anxiety, reading it over and over slowly, breathing, working through the panic. It feeds my soul and helps make me a better person.
So for those that haven't ever read it - here it is. I have put my favourite (and life changing) line in bold.
Go placidly amidst the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexatious to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others, you may become bitter or vain, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment is is perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortunes. But do not distress yourself with imaginings, many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore, be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labours and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.
Strive to be happy.