Our present thoughts and feelings are largely determined by the multitude of impressions and messages which we received as children. We are programmed like computers, which then blindly repeat and recreate exactly what they have been programmed to. Just as our minds have been formed through repetition, they can be cleared, and then reformed, by the same power of repetition. Written positive affirmations are an excellent way to reprogram the mind. They serve a dual function. On the one hand they are a diagnostic tool and one other a therapeutic technique.
Let us see how we can apply one of these positive affirmations techniques. We take a sheet of paper and divide it in the center with a vertical line. On the top left we write AFFIRMATION and on the right RESPONSE. Then on the left we begin to write the affirmation which we are interested in cultivating in our subconscious mind. Some examples are:
1. I love and accept myself in every situation.
2. I love and accept myself exactly as I am.
3. I feel safe and secure in every situation.
4. I feel sure and confident in every environment and situation.
5. I accept and love others exactly as they are.
6. I feel free to be myself in every situation.
These are some «general affirmations» which should be used at first in order to discover our various inner obstacles toward feeling self-confidence, security, self love and self acceptance and then, as a consequence, our love for others.
We can select the affirmation which seems most important for us to cultivate at this present time, and we write it in the left column once. Once we have written it, we then think about it and try to feel what we have written. We remember ourselves in various situations, and various instances come to our mind, concerning when we actually do feel secure, or self accepting, and when we do not. We write all of these responses in the right column. Some of them will be positive and some will be negative (see the example given in fig. 38).
When our mind stops responding with situations in which we do, or do not, feel these feelings, which we are trying to program into our subconscious, then we write the same affirmation again in the left column, and again we try to feel and accept into ourselves what we are writing. Again we wait for, and write our responses in the right column. In this way we write the affirmation in full, without ditto marks or abbreviations, a total of twenty times, stopping each time to write our responses in the right column.
Some guidelines, which come to mind after years of experience with this invaluable technique, are:
1. Do not hesitate to write the same response more than once if it keeps coming up over and over. This will be an important clue in your self diagnosis process.
2. If no answers come to you as you write the affirmation, do not terminate the exercise until you write the affirmation the full twenty times. You may have no answer during four or five repetitions and then, suddenly, experience a free flow of responses from the subconscious.
3. Be as honest as you can with yourself. You have everything to gain and nothing to loose, except your illusions and suffering.
4. There is no specific number of responses which you should have after writing each affirmation. The number of responses is not limited. You could have none and you could have more than fifty.
Once you have written one of these basic affirmations twenty times, at each session, for a number of days, you will then want to analyze and discover the root beliefs, which obstruct a more continuous and permanent feeling of inner security and self worth. As this process proceeds, you will see that behind this variety of external stimuli and situations, which intimidate our happiness and inner peace, the same root beliefs keep cropping up. This is because we depend almost exclusively on others, and on various external factors, for our feelings of inner security and self-worth. Thus we are very vulnerable and continuously loosing our emotional center.
( Before reading the next paragraph, study the sample affirmations in fig.38 )
THE ANALYSIS OF THE RESULTS
As you can see there are two basic types of answers to the affirmation concerning our feelings of self acceptance. One category is that which has to do with how we appear to others and how we compare to others. The following responses fall into that category: 1,2,3,4,5,7,16,17,18,19,20, and 21. In these cases we want to analyze why we cannot accept ourselves just as we are, regardless of what others think or how we compare to others.
The second category has to do with situations in which we do not live in accordance with our conscience, or self-expectations. In such cases, although we definitely want to change our behavior, we also would like to avoid rejecting ourselves and thus getting into a vicious circle of guilt, self-rejection and then imprisonment in the very behavior which causes our self rejection. We tend to prolong our subjugation to weaknesses and self destructive behaviors when we reject ourselves for them. This is true for the reason that our poor self image is usually that which causes our original inability to live up to our conscience. Most of our negative behavior results from our self-doubt. Thus when we reject ourselves for this negative behavior we simply increase the original cause of it.
Thus it is useful to accept even these weaknesses as a natural phase in our process of evolution, with the understanding that we will be moving on from that stage, as we grow in inner strength and clarity.
Thus, concerning the second category of responses (for example 6,8,9,and 12), we want to recognize and accept that we have these weaknesses, but simultaneously search for the beliefs which prevent us from behaving in a way which is in more harmony with our conscience. When we can discover the beliefs which force us to become egotistical, to tell lies, or to harm people, then we will gradually become free from the cause of our weaknesses, and move on in our process of emotional and spiritual maturation.
Once we discover the root beliefs, which grow into the tree of our illusionary perceptions of ourselves and the world, we can then begin the process of uprooting this tree and planting a new one, based on a more positive belief system. We do this by adapting our original basic affirmation to the specific situations which we have found to be our particular weaknesses. These are called «personal affirmations». For example:
1. I feel safe and secure even when I cannot control those around me.
2. I accept and love myself even when I make a mistake.
3. I accept and love myself even when I am not perfect.
4. I love and accept myself independently of what others think of me.
5. I feel safe and secure regardless of my economic situation.
6. I feel safe and secure regardless of the condition of my health.
7. I feel safe and secure even if I am alone.
8. I feel safe and secure in the dark.
9. I accept and love myself regardless of the results of my efforts.
We can also use affirmations to free our positive feelings towards others:
1. I love and accept others independently of their behavior.
2. I love and accept others regardless of their weaknesses of imperfections.
3. I love and accept others even when they are unable to fulfill my expectations.
All of these personalized affirmations, whether directed towards our selves or others, are applied in exactly the same way as the basic affirmations we mentioned earlier. They are written twenty times in the left column, pausing each time and writing all of our responses in the right column, before proceeding to write the affirmation again in the left column.
Continuing in this way we can narrow in, more and more specifically, on the basic belief which prevents a more continuous feeling of peace and unity with ourselves and others. By writing these affirmations on a daily basis, we can reprogram these false beliefs about ourselves and the world with these new positive truths.
Let us now look at a similar example concerning the general affirmation, “I feel safe and secure in every situation” and the personal affirmations which might be generated from our results. Refer to Fig. 39.
From this sample of affirmations and responses we can see some of the possible responses which might come up to the affirmation «I feel safe and secure in every situation». Each of these responses can then give birth to other personal affirmations which can reprogram these objections, so as to fully believe that one can feel safe and secure in every situation. Let us look at a few examples.
Examples of responses to the written affirmation about security.
1. Not when others do not show me love or approval.
Some affirmations to counter this would be:
a. I feel safe and secure even when others do not show me love and approval.
b. I always feel loved and approved of.
c. I love and approve of myself always.
2. Not during earthquakes.
a. I feel safe and secure even during earthquakes.
b. I will be guided from within through every danger.
c. I am an immortal, indestructible spirit.
3. Not when others know more than me about some subject.
a. I feel safe and secure even when others know more than me about a subject.
b. I love and accept myself regardless of what I know or do not know.
4. Not when I am ill.
a. I feel safe and secure regardless of my physical condition.
b. I am resistant to all illness.
c. I am a spirit beyond all illness.
5. Not when I think of money.
a. I feel safe and secure regardless of my money situation
b. My power to earn grows each and every day.
c. Live gives me exactly what I need to be happy and fulfilled.
6. Not when my husband drives wildly.
a. I feel safe and secure regardless of how my husband drives.
b. Life gives me exactly what I need.
c. I have the right to express how I feel without getting angry or losing the other’s love.
7. Not when I make a mistake.
a. I feel safe and secure even when I make a mistake.
b. I use my mistakes to learn to grow.
8. Yes, I actually feel more secure everyday in every way.
Some more affirmations which one could use are:
1. I feel safe and secure in every situation.
2. I accept and love myself completely in all situations.
3. I do not need the approval of others to be happy.
4. I can handle whatever life presents me.
5. I forgive myself for my ignorant reactions to people.
6. I forgive others for their ignorant behavior towards me.
7. I see myself and others as evolving spiritual beings and not as personalities.
8. I have the right to say no without fearing to lose the other’s love.
9. Others have the right to say no to me without hurting me.
10. I am responsible for the reality I experience.
11. I have everything I need in every moment to be happy.
12. Life’s experiences are exactly what I need in order to grow more aware.
13. I can succeed in any endeavor which is important enough to me.
14. I am lovable and therefore love others.
15. I love others and myself regardless of their feelings.
We can see that the affirmation «I feel safe and secure in every situation», will bring to the surface of the mind both those situations in which we feel secure and those in which we do not feel secure. We can use this to our advantage, to uncover those negative memories which undermine our feeling of security in the present and future. By seeing that we are letting our present and future be controlled by the past, we can realize that our insecurity is not rational and is based on a few negative past experiences rather than on the present situation.
We are free to create any affirmations which we feel may help us to reprogram our negative feelings or habits. We can use our own words and let them be as short and to the point as possible. Write and repeat them as many times as possible each day for the best results.
WASHING OUR MINDS
Some of us may feel that we are brain washing our minds and that we are trying to convince ourselves of something that is not true. What we must realize is that our brain needs «washing», because it is deeply soiled by false truths and misconceptions, which we have inherited from our parents, teachers, siblings, friends, and society in general. It is not true that we are weak or unable or unsafe. This is an illusion. It is not true that we are unworthy of love and respect. These are misconceptions taken in by a child who did not receive unconditional love from those around him.
We misconceive and misinterpret many events in our childhood. I have seen adults who have come to the conclusion that they do not deserve love, respect or affection because:
1. Their parents abandoned them as children.
2. Their parents worked many hours and did not have time for them.
3. Their parents had emotional problems and released their negativity on the children.
4. Their parents separated and the child felt responsible.
5. Their parents were unable to express affection.
6. A parent became ill or died and the child felt responsible.
7. A parent died and the child interpreted this as voluntary abandonment.
8. The parents were always fighting, the child did not experience love.
9. A teacher ridiculed the child in front of others.
10. The child was told that it was evil for some type of behavior.
11. The child was called all kinds of demeaning names and adjectives.
12. The child did not do well at school.
13. The child felt rejected because of physical or mental characteristics which made him different from others.
14. The parents punished the child frequently.
15. There was no dialogue with the parents.
In most of these cases the child formed the conclusion that he is not worthy, not lovable, not capable of succeeding. He rejected himself, and these feelings and beliefs became deeply seated in the subconscious. When he grew up, even though he received many forms of affirmation concerning his worthiness, acceptability and capabilities, his subconscious remained programmed by his mistaken conclusions, formed in response to the earlier experiences. Although consciously he now recognizes that people around him love and accept him, and that he is actually safe and secure, he remains plagued by feelings of self-doubt and fear.
FIVE REASONS WHY
In order to strengthen and deepen this new positive attitude we can employ another technique which is quite related. We complete our written affirmations by writing five reasons why we accept and love ourselves, or why we feel safe and secure. Thus each day we write five reasons why we should be accepting and loving ourselves or feeling safe and secure.
Remember the written affirmations focus on when we feel, or do not feel, these emotions and this last exercise focuses on why we could be feeling more positive.
You may or may not find new reasons each day concerning why you should feel more positive. If you do not find new reasons, write some of the old ones, which you found when previously performing this exercise.
You can also gradually create a list of reasons as you add new ones each time you think of them to this list. You may end up finding 20, 30 or 40 reasons why you should be feeling more positive about yourself and your life.
Good luck to you on this road to freedom