A few years ago I was invited to a friend’s new home. She and her husband had just gotten married and had 5 children between the 2 of them; 4 were girls, teenage girls. The home was beautiful and of course had many bedrooms to hold a family of 7! I, of course, wanted a tour of the entire house. One of her daughters and his two shared a jack and jill bathroom. As we walked into the bathroom I noticed the mirror over the double sink was covered with post-it notes. They said things like, “you are beautiful”, “ you are loved”, “you are very intelligent”, etc. The three girls had written these different notes or affirmations so they could stay focused on the positive. At an age where your self- esteem is so fragile, these three understood that they needed to remind themselves and each other how wonderful they were! I was so impressed! At 13 or so I had no idea that I had self- esteem issues or could. I had no idea that my self- talk was as important as it was and that I needed to stay positive in the midst of the chaos around me.
I walked away from that experience with two thoughts. The first was how advanced these girls are in terms of understanding what was really important compared to me at that age who only cared about sports and boys, not sure of the order there either! The second was that I needed to employ the same or similar tactic as my self- esteem at 50 had plummeted. I had battled how I thought about myself for many years. On and off, up and down like a roller coaster. I felt great about me when things were going well, when I was clicking on all cylinders. I lost that as soon as I thought someone didn’t love me anymore, or wasn’t there for me. I continually battled negative self -talk, you aren’t good enough. That had gone on since I was in my twenties.
I remember getting home that evening, finding some post-it notes and sitting in my office at home thinking about what to write. I couldn’t think of anything! Why? I would think about writing something like “you are good enough” but then I would talk myself out of it! I would tell myself you really aren’t. Or I worried if anyone saw these taped to my mirror they would think I was nuts. And perhaps I was. Deep in my heart I knew this could help me if each day I saw these, but it didn’t materialize at that time. I guess I wasn’t ready to really move forward. I was still stuck in a very woe is me place. I was having my own little pity party!
A few months later I began to work out with a trainer and started to feel stronger physically. I lost weight and was beginning to feel better about me. I was also reading a lot of Eckart Tolle and Louise Hay. She is the queen of affirmations and I came across something she wrote focused on self love. It was at that point that I realized I did need to have those affirmations taped to my mirror, and I needed to remind myself that in order to love others, I had to love me!
Here are some of the affirmations that have remained on my bathroom mirror!
- You are strong, beautiful and creative and worthy of your own love and affection
- I am lovable, I am loving and I am loved
- I radiate beauty, confidence and grace
- Every cell in my body is healthy and vibrant
- I feel great when I take care of myself
- Self love is first love
- Don’t dwell on what went wrong. Instead focus on what to do next. Spend your energies on moving forward toward finding the answer
- Every decision I make with an open heart is the right decision
- Keep peace in my heart in the midst of chaos
- Everything around me is affirming as the path I am to travel
These help me and remind each day that I love me, love life and love others. These all remind me to be positive, focus on moving forward and have peace in my heart. They also remind me to trust the universe. The universe is a guide to all that is in front of me. That by staying in the now as much as possible, I do not focus on regrets or worry about the future and that allows peace and love to remain in my heart. Are there times I cannot stay in the now? Of course! Are there times when these don’t really work for me? Of course! But now when these moments arise, I am more equipped to refocus myself quickly and get back to that place of peace. I am also much more attuned to what I need. If I need to be alone, I am. If I need to be in nature, I am. If I need to be with people, I am.
Our thoughts are extremely powerful and can truly change our moods, our actions, and how others see us and experience us. Although there are times when the first thought may not be positive, after stating these affirmations daily and really focusing on my heart, I find that I can change that thought quickly and now I focus on why it was negative. What is happening around me that is causing me to lose focus on love? Once I figure that out, I can change my thoughts. It has become one of the most powerful tools I have ever used.
The power an affirmation has in helping focus our thoughts is truly the calm in the storm.