Honestly, I’ve been feeling a little annoyed at affirmations lately. Because I think people get the idea that they can just do affirmations and avoid looking at any uncomfortable feelings they have.
Louise writes a little about getting to the core of the feelings too, but I think a lot of people gloss over this bit, or miss it entirely. Because it’s easier to just do the affirmations.
Or they think that they SHOULDN’T look at the negative feelings they have, because they’re scared they’ll conjure up something bad.
Yes, thoughts are powerful. But doing affirmations and being positive doesn’t stop the thoughts. It just pushes them down further.
Here’s the thing though. If you don’t deal with the SOURCE of the negative feelings, you’re not going to get anywhere. You’re going to shove them down deeper. You’re not going to heal the root cause.
You’re going to be just spinning your wheels. Wondering why these stupid affirmations are making things worse, all while trying to plaster a smile on and stay positive.
Being happy and positive is only helpful when that’s how you TRULY, NATURALLY FEEL.
If you stop, go INTO the negative feelings, look at them with curiosity, you can heal them once and for all and LET IT GO.
Okay I know I say you can choose your mental state. And you can. But you can only really do that when you’ve cleaned out all the junk. Then choosing your state is easy. If you haven’t had a good clean out, it’s like throwing a sheet over the mess to hide it.
In order to heal, you have to be HONEST. You have to KNOW YOURSELF. All the deep, dark, buried shit, you need to shine a light on.
You have to GO INTO THE DARKNESS. Not shove it down with positivity and affirmations. That only buries it deeper, and causes more problems.
I love watching this process unfold with clients. I mean I’ve done it myself, but seeing someone else go through the process is so much fun.
We start with what’s going on in their lives now. When they feel stressed or anxious or get angry or sad (what I call “triggered”).
Then we peel back a layer – why does that trigger you?
Usually it will be a feeling. I feel scared. I feel guilty. I’m projecting. I don’t want to disappoint people. I feel helpless. I panic.
Usually after a few weeks, we start getting a picture of common feelings, from seemingly unrelated triggers.
Then another layer – why does it make you feel that way?
Usually here, we’ll start seeing a pattern that goes back through to childhood.
And then the doozy – finding when the pattern first started. For example, I have a client who always felt guilty and was scared of being disappointed and disappointing people.
I asked her what her FIRST memory of feeling guilty was – and she instantly knew what it was, something that happened when she was 3 years old!
All her emotional patterns that she was playing out TODAY, were from that one memory at 3 years old. And the story of what happened was actually not that big of a deal from an adult perspective, but a HUGE deal from a 3 year old perspective.
That inner 3 year old was still running the show in her life.
If you just start running around saying “I am worthy. I am worthy. I am worthy.” WITHOUT knowing WHY you feel unworthy in the first place.
It’s going to cause such internal friction. Because deep down, you still won’t FEEL worthy still. It’s incongruent.
But if you dig deep, go into the darkness, find out WHY you specifically don’t feel worthy, then BREAK THE PATTERN and reprogram that specific belief, you can heal it.
KNOW THY SELF. You have to know WHY you do the shit you do. And heal THAT.
NOT SHOVE IT DOWN.
Lying to yourself doesn’t work. You’re subconscious knows what’s really up.
I used to do those “I am” affirmations. You know. “I am in perfect health. I am wealthy.” etc. And on the conscious level I was all excited and like YEAH I totally am. But deep down I didn’t really believe it. I knew I was lying to myself. It just AGITATED my subconscious. (Actually, I think that’s when my health took a dive earlier in the year!)
When you find the core memory, trauma, and belief holding you back you can deprogram it.
Positive thinking, optimism and being happy is only helpful when it’s GENUINE! When you really, truly FEEL that way. Otherwise it just AGITATES.
And the only way it can be genuine, is if you clear all of this old garbage that’s sitting on top of your true, core, joyful self.
When it comes to healing and illness, the worst thing you can do is push down feelings and not be honest about them.
What’s this got to do with healing?
Dr. Bernie Siegel and Dr. O. Carl Simonton both write about the importance of being honest about your feelings for healing illness, getting them out in the open, and they say the worst thing someone can do is be fake positive and stoic.
They’re talking specifically about cancer, but it’s true with all illness.
The reason the illness is there in the first place is because of pushed down feelings, old emotional baggage and trauma, and not being honest with yourself about what you really want and what you’re hearts telling you to do!
And when you’re using affirmations to push things down, it makes that WORSE.
I ONLY use affirmations when I know what I’m dealing with. When I know what the underlying belief/memory/baggage is. After I’ve gone into it, journals it out, cried it out, broken the pattern and felt the shift in my energy to letting it go, only THEN do I use affirmations to integrate the change.
THAT’S when affirmations are powerful and helpful.
I think it’s way more powerful to come up with an affirmation that comes from your heart and that you now actually believe in 100%, because you’ve dug up the darkness and faced it.