Day 4- Bring Back Stuart

Dare to love yourself, right here.  today.

Hi, I Dare you to love yourself, right here. today.

Do you remember Stuart Smalley and how ridiculous we all thought he was back in the day?

If you’re too young or lived under a rock in the 90’s, Stuart Smalley was a character on SNL played by Al Franken who satirically and ridiculously modeled self help via a daily affirmation.  Youtube it.”

The quintessential line was: “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough… and doggone it, people like me.”

Psh, ridiculous right? Who needs to look in the mirror every day and pep themselves up before facing the world in a ridiculous cardigan?

Uh, I think I do.

Really.  I think I need to bring back Stuart Smalley because these days my thought life tends to be a bit of a mess.

When I look in the mirror, it’s more of a quick glance where I wrinkle my nose about chin zits, baggy eyes, and an annoying cowlick.  Also I hate on my chin, daily.

As I do my hair and think about how great everyone else is and I tell myself that someday I’ll be okay too.

I’ll be great when I lose 10 more lbs and get back into my pre-baby jeans.
I’ll be acceptable when I’m a legit published author.
Someday so and so will notice me and then I’ll feel so much better about myself
Next year we’ll have as much money as so and so.. then we’ll be happy.

Yes, I know.  My thought life is ridiculous.  It’s not easy going public with that.

The other day I sat on the porch crying for no good reason on earth other than that I needed a good cry.

I sobbed on the phone to Kel about how glum and generally inadequate I’ve been feeling lately.

“So many days I just don’t like myself very much” I told Kel.
“I don’t know why baby, you’re pretty wonderful.  Everyone sees it but you.” He replied.

Because. He’s. Awesome.

So this morning I tried something new.  It felt stupid and totally Stuart Smalley at the time.

When I got up, before I did my hair or makeup or changed out of my paint stained t-shirt I looked in the mirror and said: “Hi, I like you right here, just as you are today.”

“I know you have size 9.5 feet and you’re down to 1 pair of jeans.  I know you hate your total lack of chin and you think you’re the messiest mom at preschool pickup.  I know you wonder if you’re fooling yourself thinking that your voice is worth listening to as a writer or friend.”

“I know you feel small and you want to hide under a rock, but don’t.  I like you, right here. You have great hair and you make people laugh and cry at the same time, that’s not as easy as you think it is.  You got skills (insert little dance)”

“You’re good enough, smart enough and doggone it… people like you.” 

I think the worst part of this lack of self love is that we think we’re the only ones who lack confidence.  We think everyone else loves themselves and we’re the freak who looks in the mirror or moves through a day and goes “meh, I might suck.”

But we’re not alone.

I’m going on a limb here and speculating that maybe the voices in your head aren’t too kind to you either, maybe you’re struggling to like yourself today too.

I’m thinking, perhaps, we may need to enter into the ridiculousness of a daily affirmation.

It’s not easy to admit that you think little of yourself, but it’s a place to start.

get your stuart on

So I’m throwing this out there:  I’m printing out this Stuart and hanging it on my mirror. Feel free to do the same and post a pic of it online #getyourstuarton

Because I don’t know about you, but I think I need a visual reminder not to beat the shit out of myself every morning.  For now.


I’m spending the month of October writing for 31 Days on the concept of “here.”  Sign up right here to receive these posts in your inbox.

  • Natalie Hart

    I can’t say I’m going to print out a photo of Stuart and put it on my mirror, but I can always use the reminder to be kinder to myself. Not just kinder, but compassionate, too. I wish you many Stuart thoughts about yourself, lovely positive thoughts that stick just as hard as the negative ones do :-)

  • Celeste

    I used to be a morning person. I actually looked forward to waking up. But over the last few years I’ve begun to hate it. Dread it. Then a few weeks ago I had an epiphany. I suddenly realized that I had somehow gotten into the habit of yelling at myself first thing in the morning everyday. The internal tirade went something like, “You slept in way too late. You should have been up an hour ago. Maybe if you would just go to bed earlier and stop wasting time on Instagram and Facebook instead of sleeping, then you would feel a little more rested. And you know you didn’t finish yesterday’s laundry, so today you have to do an extra load, but I don’t know how you’ll ever get that done when you still have to…blah, blah, blah…and so on and so forth.” No wonder I hate waking up! I get yelled at every morning! No one wants to wake up to that. So I decided that I would instead try just saying “Good morning” to myself. This has helped immensely. I think the perfect next step is some Stuart. Thanks for being honest about your thought life. I hope you know how much it resonates with me!

  • Mark Allman

    Kel’s right.