My ability to laugh is directly related to how secure I am in my love for myself.
Stick with me. Don’t touch that dial.
I believe if we dare to be brutally honest, this self-love thing is an issue we skirt around all the time and can avoid until we draw our last breath, which is too late to reap the benefits in this one shot we have at being US.
We drink vats of red wine to compensate. Or work relentlessly to prove our worth. Pay no attention to that gross insecurity hiding behind my bravado! The Academy Award for acting like I’m not a wounded child goes to…YOU. And me.
Look, I realize you (and I) are well aware of our imperfections. Some of you look in the mirror and literally see yourselves as disfigured, and you couldn’t even choke out the words, “I love you” to yourself in the mirror.
If a genie granted me one wish, oh how I would wish that every person reading this could not only say those words but let them heal their broken souls; that the power of this love would propel them to a new level of life that renders them untouchable from the fiery darts of others and unable to produce weapons to self-inflict wounds.
Too many of us hobble along like that for an entire lifetime. I sure did, until my breakdown/breakthrough in Costa Rica. How pointless when a handicap is a product of our own making; because of the dark thoughts we allow to run rampant in our heads.
Instead, these self-loathers compensate by being amazing givers. People who meet them are SO impressed! They think they are so smart, so engaging, so attractive and personable!
And they (you) are.
But imagine how powerful you would be if YOU really believed in your amazingness. If you didn’t speak such hateful words to yourself; if you truly hit the mat and chose to “Embrace Your Flawsomeness” once and for all?
I know, you’re saying, “Brenda, I thought these past two weeks were about humor! And your subject line was about laughing ! I did not bargain for all of this talk about self-love.”
So I’ll share a memory of fat little Brenda. Here’s a visual to help:
I know, you’re thinking, “What a cutie pie!”
But put yourself in my “had to be custom made because I was so obese” shoes.
Every day, the kindest words I heard were “pleasingly plump.” The worst? “Fatso.” “Pig.”
No one wants to play on the seesaw with the fattest kid in school. And you can’t run without peeing your pants, so you don’t even try. I spent most nights crying myself to sleep and hating myself because I didn’t look like everyone else.
And because I believed the self-talk that concluded because I weighed more I was less than; that as a result I was unworthy of love or to excel at life – I couldn’t laugh much.
I’ve written before about being bullied in high school. By then I was quite slim, learned how to use makeup, dressed well and smelled good. No joke – you can see for yourself here:
Despite my physical transformation, in every comment I heard a slight; I felt rejection.
Instead of my inherent sensitivity being a blessing to myself and others, my lack of self-worth produced hyper-sensitivity – taking the gift of feeling and using it as a weapon of self-destruction.
I wonder now: Had I sooner dealt with this issue of of finally loving myself – would I have found a silver lining of levity in those high school years? Instead of hiding in bathroom stalls or detouring to avoid certain cliques, would I have been more likely to laugh than cry?
But you can’t laugh at yourself when you hate yourself. You can’t shine as the star you are when you scurry to hide from the spotlight. And the further downfall? A constant propensity to be offended; the inability to lighten up or find humor (especially when you are the butt of the joke.) How many red flag indicators do you need to prove once and for all that your self-worth is running on empty? And who loves you enough to say, “Enough of this self-debasement!”
Well, I do. I am weary and heartsick by friends who think it’s funny to put themselves down. Who apologize and edit themselves out of family photos because of their self-loathing. Who, after a few drinks, say the ugliest things about themselves and no amount of saying, “You are wonderful – beautiful – amazing” even makes a dent in the fortress of self-rejection they’ve built over a lifetime of self-talk.
When you get to the end of this journey and are finally released from this body, you’ll have an amazing “Aha!” that none of the crap you slung to prove your unworthiness was real.
But then it will be too late.
So now what? Well, I wrote an e-book on the topic, which is a good introduction from my perspective. Better, Louise Hay wrote a book about mirror work that is excellent, if you’re serious about jumping off the “I suck” train.
It IS work. But it is work worth doing. Please start building yourself up instead of tearing yourself down. You’ll get your laugh back.
Here’s some final thoughts on humor and a new WOW that can help you if you are facing a conflict or a sticky relationship situation:
May UNDERSTANDING build bridges these next two weeks.
Sending you so much love –