Probably goes without saying, but I love it. So I'll say it. I love it.
An affirmation is an assertion that something is true. It’s generally a positive statement.
Right from the time we are children, the people in our lives and what we experience teach us things about ourselves – some good things, some bad things. We experience hard things that bring their own messages – loss of loved ones, broken relationships, illness to name a few. For me, getting divorced brought many harsh thoughts. As adults we are bombarded with images in media of what being a woman looks like, and feels like and it’s easy to start believing ugly things about ourselves. Here’s a few things we might start to believe that might be familiar to you: I’m stupid. I’m not good enough. No one would love me if they knew the real me. I can’t trust people. God can’t love me because of something awful I’ve done. There is someone here today who needs to know that is not true. Nothing can separate us from God's love. Nothing we do can lessen his love for us. Here’s a message I’ve struggled with since I was a teenager: I am a drain on those around me. People don’t benefit from being in relationship with me.
There are several problems here. First, these ugly things rob us of our true identity as children of God and the way we would live and the impact we would have if that was our truth. Second, these ugly things are exhausting and sad and a heavy burden to carry and we don’t have to carry it. And lastly, these ugly things become the filter through which we experience life. They are the filter we look through at those around us, and the filter we experience God through.
Much of our behaviour is driven by what we believe about ourselves, others and God. I wish I could somehow say that sentence in underline, bold, all caps. Much of our behaviour is driven by what we believe about ourselves, others and God.
In our class we were given a list of affirmations to go through to help us see ourselves as worth protecting and worth caring for. There were I affirmations, and there were Because God Loves Me affirmations. I read through those affirmations, and then decided to write my own so that I could arm myself with truth specific to my situation. My goal was to remind myself who I am, what I want to move towards and how I should act in light of that. I thought that if I consciously chose truth, I would more quickly reject untruth.
I would like to share my affirmations with you. Some are statements I already believe and walk in, and wanted to reinforce – sort of like my core values. Some of my affirmations are things I struggle with. I have 10 I affirmations, and 6 Because God Loves Me affirmations.
- I have value apart from what I do.
- I am beautiful.
- I take responsibility for spiritual and emotional growth.
- I am proud of the woman I have become.
- My life affects and influences those around me. I try to conduct myself with this in mind.
- People benefit from being in relationship with me.
- It's ok for me to want to feel valued and appreciated in the relationships I'm in.
- I don't remain in relationships that hurt me.
- I am at peace. Peace is the undercurrent and the fragrance and the soundtrack of my life.
- I could be a healthy part of a marriage one day, but if I stay single, that's great too. I have learned to be content alone, but don't need to be afraid of relationship.
Because God loves me...
- ...he is gentle with me. God is my safe place.
- ...he wants me to be whole. I am becoming whole.
- (This one is dear to my heart. I've been a single mom for 9 years and one of the cries of my heart is to know that I'm doing a good job)...he gives me grace and strength to be on my own with a child. I am doing a good job.
- ...he heals the places where I hurt.
- ...he cares about what I pray for. He has answered and is answering my prayers.
- ...he is my companion, my provider, my friend.
Can you see how it would benefit me to believe these things instead of the opposites? I can. I taped these up on my bathroom mirror and I practiced them several times a day until I had them memorized. One of the sweetest moments of my life happened because of this: one day my 12 year old daughter added a line that read "Your child adores you."
My close friend who took the course with me also wrote her own affirmations. Hers had a totally different flavour than mine and it was so neat to listen to them. I’m saying that so that if you decide to write your own and I do encourage it, you should know that they may not sound at all like mine and that’s fine.
I want to speak briefly to one of these affirmations. That is: My life affects and influences those around me. I try to conduct myself with this in mind. Do you believe that about yourself?
One thing I know about each of us is that we have a voice and God needs us to use it. Our lives definitely affect and influence those around us. Our words and our actions are an entry point for God to bless those around us. Our words and our actions can bring encouragement to those around us. They can bring comfort. They can bring delight. They can bring truth and hope. They can bring life. What we do and say matters in a world that is hurting and broken. Every one of us makes a difference in the lives of our families, friends, coworkers and even the strangers we see.
So, in closing, I want to read you the affirmations I wrote for you.
- Today is a new day, a fresh start.
- You are beautiful.
- You have great value.
- You have a purpose that only you can fulfill.
- Your life affects and influences those around you. You conduct yourself with this in mind.
- You are doing a good job.
- You are a blessing to those around you.
- You bring God deep joy and He overflows with love for you.
- Because He loves you, you do not lack.
Thank you again for letting me share.
Three things I'm thankful for:
1. People with good thoughts.
2. People who write good books.