Remember this guy?
Stuart Smalley. A Saturday Night Live character played by Al Franken circa 1991.
“I’m good enough, I’m smart enough and, doggone it, people like me.”
That’s it. That’s “the joke.”
In 1991 I was 10 years old and completely cognizant of how laughable loving yourself was. People like me?! What a joke.
Wouldn’t it be smarter (safer) to just believe that I was not good enough, not smart enough and honestly, that everybody hated me?
Sigh. I got pretty good at that mantra. So good, that 5 years later, when I was 15 years old, this character seemed like an alien:
Helen Madden. A Saturday Night Live character played by Molly Shannon circa 1996.
Licensed “Joyologist” Helen Madden was best known for spreading her message of JOY, finding the most comfortable positions to sit on interview couches and saying “I love it, I love it, I love it!”
That’s it. That’s the joke. She was trying to spread joy.
HUGE eye roll.
My idea of loving myself at this time was to have intense secret crushes that were never returned, thank god…because if you dared have a crush on me I would surely CRUSH you with my indifference and secret horror.
It wasn’t until I was 32 years old that I even began my self love journey. Even then, it was because I had to, not because I wanted to. What does unconditionally loving yourself even mean?
I thought loving yourself meant loving others as hard as you possibly could. That worked all the way up until having a baby. Then you watch how fast you drain and don’t replenish. If you don’t love yourself, you don’t replenish. Then you truly understand how loving yourself is not a luxury or a choice.
It’s the way.
P.S. Gilda Radner is one of my hero angels.