This post is written by Honey Good Guest Contributor, Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein. She thinks back to her days as a ten-year-old sitting in from of the television, enjoying I Love Lucy episodes. Isn’t it funny how our childhood experiences continue to show up later in life? I was delighted to learn Lucille Ball has had such a profound impact on Barbara’s life.
Over the years I have watched tributes to Lucille Ball and vintage I Love Lucy episodes. Oh, what ecstasy to have so many of her funniest scenes come alive again! No one in the world could eat as many chocolates that quickly while working on an assembly line, bake a loaf of bread so large it overtook the kitchen or carry smelly cheese onto an international flight, wrapped up as a baby. No one can make me laugh so hard!
Only Lucy has held the key to evoke my humor at any time of day or night. Ah, that I can now find her anytime I need her: after a bad day, after bad news, after an unnecessarily-large dinner, after almost any occasion that could be buffered by a good laugh and a comforting sense of the familiar is a modern-day miracle.
What was her magic? How has she managed to take me to my Enchanted Self since I was a ten-year-old child, watching her in Fairfield, Connecticut on Monday evenings? How has she engendered positive states of being again and again, regardless of my age or stage in life?
She Was Always There For Us
First of all, for most of us over 40, Lucy has become part of our history. She was always there, on a snow day, a day of illness or a late-night when we couldn’t sleep. If you were lucky and flicked through enough stations, there she was. Her smile was infectious and her ineptness made us all feel comfortable.
It was as if she revealed our most embarrassing moments for us. We never had to feel the shame or humiliation of tripping down the stairs with a giant showgirl hat on our heads or trying to catch up with the real superman on the ledge to our apartment. Yet inside of each of us was the girl that would have given anything to be in a show or look for superman!
Secondly, she gave us the real family that had a lot going for it, which not all of us had. They really seemed to love each other, they had good friends, they always made up when they fought and nothing happened that was truly devastating. Silly mistakes were just that and grudges were not held.
They got to travel, meet famous people and eat in fancy restaurants! And, they had a baby and everyone was happy, loving the baby. Lastly, they got to move up in life when they finally moved to the suburbs into a big house with lots of land and funny happenings. They even raised chickens!
Making The Familiar Extraordinary
What a beautiful world Lucy and her gang recreated for us. It was our country, our way of life, but on top of the familiar were humor, love, and always recovery from problems or embarrassments.
In essence, she made the familiar the best it could be! She helped us live in our imaginations for a while, yet kept us earthbound at the same time. Yes, we were transported to states of wellbeing again and again, which is what The Enchanted Self is all about.
I realize now that she was one of my most important mentors. She actually assisted me through every gateway of Enchantment. This is how she did it:
The Gateways of Enchantment
The First Gateway: Self-Esteem
If Lucy could experience embarrassment and still triumph, so could I!
The Second Gateway: Learning to Meet My Needs
If Lucy could get on TV, travel and meet famous people, so could I!
The Third Gateway: Bringing in Pleasure to One’s Life
Lucy gave me pleasure and showed me how to yearn for more. She had fun and good times even though she made mistakes and was even ridiculous at times. Therefore so could I!
The Fourth Gateway: Becoming the Heroine of One’s Life Story
If Lucy could be a heroine, receive recognition and save the day so many times, with all her mistakes and foibles, so could I!
The Fifth Gateway: Finding Tribes to Belong To
Lucy let me belong to her world without hesitation. Not only did this gift give me an extra family but it also gave me confidence that I could find my tribes to belong to.
The Sixth Gateway: Finding Mentors
Lucy was a great mentor for me. She taught me humor and how to recover from shame and embarrassment as well as how to keep trying even with disappointments and delays. Again, if she could keep on trying, so could I!
The Seventh Gateway: Living a Life of Positive Action
Every week, Lucy gave me hope that even with mistakes I could live a life of meaning, feel loved and have a good time. What a great combination!
Lucy’s amazing gift to me was that by allowing me to identify with her very failings and embarrassments, I was also able to uplift myself at the same time. Like Moses, who had a severe speech impediment and trembled every time he was asked to lead his people, Lucy experienced her own set of modern-day shortcomings. She was foolish, wanted to show off and she wanted to be in pictures. Yet, like Moses, she led many of us toward positive paths and our own promised lands.
Thank you, Lucy Ricardo, and of course, Lucille Ball, for providing me with so much enchantment. How delightful to hold your inspiration again in my mind’s eye!
About the author: Guest contributor, Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein
Sometimes friends and colleagues call me ‘The Enchanted Self.’ That’s because as a psychologist in private practice for over 35 years, I’ve developed a form of positive psychology called The Enchanted Self. I’m not enchanted, but I do have many ways and ideas to help all of us feel better through all stages of life. These methods help us recognize our potential, regardless of our age, to grab on to our talents and find again and again the emotional energies needed to be creative, resourceful, resilient and to live joyfully.
Does Lucille Ball bring just as much joy to your life? Let me know in the comments below or on Facebook.