Recently I was having a conversation with a dear friend. While we were talking she dropped an affirmation into her sentence. I paused for a moment and reflected before saying the following....
“Why?” “How?” and “Hmmm really?”
I went on to explain in the metaphorical and rather blunt way that I tend to, something along the lines of.....
"I only ask because it seems to me, that for affirmations to work they must be rooted in truth and personal experience. Otherwise, it’s just a spray of perfume on a pile of shit”.
“Just a spray of perfume on a pile of shit”
What a statement! Perhaps I could have communicated that with a little more compassion and delicacy? My friend is a beautiful person on her own journey and I hope my comment didn't upset or offend her. However, I do feel there is some truth in what I said. It’s one thing to say something lovely, to repeat a common phrase or quote, but it is an entirely different thing to have first-hand experience or deep understanding, to truly believe the words spoken.
There is real power in belief, it affects our very being on a cellular level and the environment around us. But words are just words. And unless those words are truly believed or rooted in reality they don’t change much anyway.
For affirmations to work at pacifying a person's concerns or encourage a certain way of behaving, they absolutely must be rooted in truth and take into account the individuals unique values and conditioning. Additionally, you need to have reasons to truly believe the statement. You can say “ I’m a great banjo player” until you’re blue in the face, but it won’t do you any good until you learn to play the bloody banjo and become reasonably good at it.
A more sensible affirmation for a banjo player
“I’m so lucky to be able to play the banjo. Every time I play, no matter how well, I create music, music that some people will enjoy. I get to meet new and interesting people, learn about life, and every day, with practice I become just a little bit better”
Now yes that’s a mouth full. And sometimes it needs to be. But that statement is rooted in truth and addresses any underlying issues about achievement, value and image a person may have.
If we are suffering or struggling in life for what ever reason, we need to tend to the root of the problem. We need to consider how we are viewing life and our underlying beliefs or understandings. Until those understandings change, beautiful words are just beautiful words, they are like perfume. And no amount of perfume is going to cover up that stink.
Just a thought