During the holidays, we are bombarded with messages telling us to be of good cheer and be grateful for our many blessings. 2020 has been exceptionally challenging for a great number of people for a great number of reasons. When tragedy and misfortune affect us, we naturally turn to those in whom we find comfort for their love and support. This year, to make matters worse, we are being told to refrain from close contact.
In the classic 1954 movie, “White Christmas,” Bing Crosby sings, “When I’m tired and I can’t sleep, I count my blessings instead of sheep, and I fall asleep counting my blessings.” Could it really be that easy? It’s easy to become cynical when so many platitudes are met with cold reality, and we see the result of the frustration this causes played out in our streets, stores, and even our homes.
This holiday season, more than ever, it is on us to raise the vibration around ourselves and those we care about. Keep in mind that the energy that you project is boundless. You don’t have to be physically next to someone else to share it. This season share the greatest gift you have…YOU!
Al Capp had a character in his famous comic strip, “Lil Abner,” named Joe Btsfplk. Joe was depicted as always having a dark cloud over his head. His demeanor was perpetually that of “Woe is me,” and “I’m just a jinx.” And so, it was. What he projected was what he received.
Positive or negative, an affirmation is the outward confirmation of what you perceive to be intrinsically true. What is essential for any affirmation to have any effect on you, whatsoever, is for you to have, and believe, the intention to allow the affirmation to affect your life. You need to feel the good within yourself when you affirm it rather than depending on the affirmation to make you feel good.
We’ve heard the phrase, “Fake it till you make it.” This is not an example of a positive affirmation; it doesn’t make you feel better. A positive affirmation is, rather, “Believe it until you receive it.” Feeling better is your affirmation.
“Well, if an affirmation can’t make me feel better, what good is it?” If you get up in the morning grumbling and complaining about all the bad things that happened yesterday, you’re likely to carry that negative energy with you throughout the rest of the day. Instead, try to remember how you felt before the bad thing happened. Think about the last time someone did something nice for you or with you. It doesn’t matter how long ago that may have been (or in most cases, how long ago it seems to be). Reexperience those feelings and the emotions that accompanied them. Now, while you are in that place, express your affirmations.
But remember, to affirm is to say it out loud. So, what should you say? There are countless books and web sites that offer all sorts of affirmations that you can copy, rinse, and repeat as necessary. While these are all wonderful statements of joy and gratitude, and for many, a really good place to start, they are ultimately someone else’s words. How, then, do we find our own words?
First and foremost, it is essential to keep in mind that “your words” are whatever works for and resonates with you. They don’t have to be eloquent and lofty expressions of literary genius. Sometimes, a simple “I am _____________,” or, “I feel ___________,” is sufficient.
Try to avoid trite platitudes. You know, like the Miss America affirmations, “End Hunger”, and “World Peace.” These are commendable goals but where do they fit into YOUR life?
What are YOU hungry for? Is it abundance, relationship, understanding? Find it in your own personal experience and express your gratitude for it. If it isn’t there yet, imagine what it would feel like when it is and affirm that feeling.
As for “world peace,” I am reminded of the hymn written in 1955 by Sy Miller and Jill Jackson-Miller that starts out with, “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.” Look inward for the peace within yourself and affirm it as a part of who you are. Feel it, believe it, and make it your firm intention to live it. Again, it is what is already inside of you. It depends on no one and nothing outside of you for you to experience it.
And so, how do we find our own words of affirmation? Here is a short checklist that can help you get started:
- What is working for you right now?
Express gratitude for having it.
- What do you want to change?
Express gratitude for recognizing it.
- What is the reason you want to change it?
Express gratitude for understanding it.
- What will that change look like?
Express gratitude for seeing the possibilities.
- What will that change feel like?
Express gratitude for the new you.
These are YOUR affirmations. Express them freely throughout this holiday season.