Affirm Yo’ Self

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Roar.

by Stephanie Rochelle Redd

As I was dreaming up this post, I could hear Parks and Recreation’s Donna and Tom exclaim, from within a luxury retailer dressing room, “Treat yo’ self…to an affirmation!” While I can hear and heed this imaginative advice today, prior to 2013, I couldn’t have imagined it nor did I have any idea what an affirmation was.

That year was a huge turning point in my life. I turned 30. I turned into an author and life coach. And I turned my Christian upbringing on its ear by turning my attention to a trio of celebrated New Thought teachers: Alan Cohen, Doreen Virtue, and Louise Hay.

Well, they weren’t celebrated by me – not at the beginning of that year, anyway – because I really didn’t know who they were. But honey, by year’s end, what I didn’t know was how I had made it that far in life without them.

Alan taught me the essence of God and the metaphysical quintessence of Jesus Christ. Doreen taught me that I wasn’t crazy for believing in signs, angels and other mystical and ‘mythical’ beings. And Louise, well, Louise taught me love.

louise

In the Bible, God the Father and God the Son are noted several times as commanding those who believe to “love your neighbor as you love yourself“. As one who believed church to be a second home – as I was there all the time – I heard this commandment all the time as well.

But that doesn’t mean I followed it, and I didn’t, to be honest. I went to church religiously and was just as spiteful and unforgiving as I wanted to be. I tried to be nice to people and, really, I was – and am – a nice person. Nevertheless, despite my nicest efforts along with those times when I didn’t give a flying effort, there were just some “neighbors” who I believed were just too hard for me to love.

And so, because I couldn’t locate the loophole to this ‘impossible’ command to love, I eventually left the idea of church at the open door in hopes of opening a window to a world where love was always on my side.

Ha!

What I actually walked into was a brick wall of self-loathing, which was illuminated by my lack of self-love. Enter Louise…

“If you have had experiences in your life that are not comfortable, on some level, they’re mirrors of you. We don’t always like to hear that, but everything in our life is a mirror of us. So if something’s happening out there that’s not comfortable, we have to look inside and say ‘How are we creating it?’ ‘What is it about me or what is it within me that believes that I deserve this experience?’ ‘Cause otherwise, we wouldn’t bring it to us. So, perhaps, I would say a little more loving yourself would help because when you get that flowing, you won’t bring in uncomfortable experiences.”

~Louise Hay on “Receiving Prosperity”

In my errant search for a loophole to Universal love, I stumbled upon the wisdom of Louise Hay and was thrown for a loop. When I finally came to, I saw that the bitterness I felt toward my ‘unloveable’ neighbors was really just a reflection of how bitterly I viewed myself. Moreover, I learned that my lack of love for others was in direct response to a lack of love within me for me.

Well, in the years since first stepping foot into Alan’s, Doreen’s, and Louise’s classrooms, I’ve had plenty of occasions to put this theory to the test. Upon concluding each experiment, I’ve confirmed that while it can be trippy, it’s always true: Only love for ourselves equals love for others, not vice versa.

This consistent result has since resulted in my constant use of affirmations–a domain in which many ‘New Thinkers’ deem Louise its queen. Though I, too, hold Louise in this high regard, I admittedly regard my paraphrased version of Alan’s definition of an affirmation as my favorite:

An affirmation is a statement about yourself that just reminds you of who you are.

In other words, an affirmation isn’t aspirational, it’s actual. Of course, an affirmation that states “I spend money wisely…I always have what I need” can seem a little far-fetched when we seem to have only a little amount of money to spend. But if we can suspend our belief in what we seem to see long enough to really remember that the Source of our abundance is infinite and owns “the cattle on a thousand hills“, then we will really start to see that abundance materialize in our lives. (Amen to that.)

And amen to the teachings of Alan, Doreen, and Louise, which have all had such profound impacts on my life. As good teachers do, their teachings have also taught me to prize the profundity within. So, I bring this post to a close with five of my personal affirmations that I use to remind me of who I am.

1. “I am a sexual being. I fully embrace and express my sexuality in ways that are fully aligned with my Higher self. I am free from sexual guilt and shame. My sexuality is a gift from God and I love, cherish and enjoy my God-given sexuality. And so it is, in Jesus’s name, amen💖”

2. “I am abundant in all areas of my life. I trust God easily and follow where He leads me. I fully trust God to take care of me, my finances, my material needs and wants. I am rich in love, peace, beauty, and emotional strength. And so it is, in Jesus’s name, amen💖”

3. “I am healed. My mind and my body are at ease. I am free from all distressing thoughts and my body is free from all forms of distress. I love my body and my body loves me back. I love my mind and my mind loves me back. My mind and my body are united as one in love. And so it is, in Jesus’s name, amen💖”

4. “I am whole. I lack nothing. Everything that God says I am, I am. Everything that God has for me is mine. I am a child of the King. Only good is my inheritance. I walk in God’s goodness now and I see it everywhere I go. And so it is, in Jesus’s name, amen💖”

5. “I am pure and as innocent as the day I was born. My purity is not earned, it is already mine. I am light in the darkness. I am warmth in the coldness. I am love in the midst of fear. I am kindred with God. I bless others and receive others’ blessings. And so it is, in Jesus’s name, amen💖”

 

Facebook-icon th If you’ve forgotten who you are and you’d like some help in reclaiming your identity, then click the links to find, follow and fellowship with us on Facebook and Instagram. I know your name.💖

Powered by love

Love
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Pexel

by Stephanie Rochelle Redd

“I was a victim of my foolish thinking/
Carelessly I’ve risked my love and my life/
There’s no self-pity, I admit I obliged/
Overpowered by love, I pretended to be blind…”
~ Stephanie Mills, I’ve Learned to Respect the Power of Love

A couple of months ago, a member of the Head-Smart/Heart-Dumb Girl Facebook page sent me a message with just one question:

“What is love?”

My eyeballs immediately rolled up toward the ceiling.

“Chiiiiiiiiiiiiiiile’…” I typed.

But after about the 10th “i”, I realized that neither the question nor its answer was as abstract – or as exasperating – as I first believed. So, after grudgingly deleting my initial response, I took a deep breath.

I then replied with a basic outline of the self-love tenets that I describe in my book. Yet, I was not satisfied with that response either.

Yes, acceptance, compassion, knowledge, approval, and respect are all aspects (i.e. powers) of love. And when all of these powers combine, yes, they do activate love to the highest power. But what, exactly, is this thing called “love” that is activated? Furthermore, if love is indeed the superpower, then who is its superhero? Who is the ‘Captain Planet‘ of love?

I took another deep breath. Per my M.O., I had multiplied one question into more questions. As I sat there, deep-breathing and staring deeply at the words on my screen, I waited.

Waited for what, you ask?

A thunderbolt, a light bulb, a pep talk from Wile E. Coyote, something that would give me peace of mind to soothe the inner conflict that my questions raised, and give me the frame of mind with which to solve the question that was originally posed to me. And then it happened.

If God is love, I thought, then love is God.

I sighed with relief. Not only had I solved the mystery of love in a matter of minutes, but I had also calmed my aching brain. However, my brain’s relief was short-lived as it eventually dawned on me that I had “solved” one mystery with another mystery.

Wait! Do I now have to explain God? (Oh my God, indeed.)

I was digging myself deeper into a hole of increasing ignorance, and I wanted out–fast. So, from my book I turned to another, known for its revelation of the mysterious nature of God and love: the Word.

“And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.” ~ 1 Corinthians 13:2, NKJV

Well then.

Coupled with my love analysis, I then added the 13th chapter of 1 Corinthians to my answer, which gives a definitive look into what love is and what it is not. Ah, it feels good to have the answers to challenging questions at your fingertips.

But what about the questionable situations that we often find ourselves in that seem to challenge our very being? What about the consequences we face that result from our foolish thinking, careless risks, and willful pretenses? Where are the solutions to the mysteries that are us? Oh, there I go with more questions.

Thankfully, though my questions multiply, the answer to them remains undivided: the Word.

The Word not only provides a wealth of information, but it also serves as a platform for illumination. While there are other resources – *clears throat* – that can help us clarify our understanding of ourselves, only Source can give us answers about us straight from the One who created us.

So, when I feel undone by my own doing, I cry and mope, and read and meditate on the Word. When I feel victimized by the viciousness of others, I cry and cope, and read and meditate on the Word. When I feel overpowered by the very thing that is meant to empower me, I cry and hope, and read and meditate on the Word.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” ~ John 1:1, NKJV

As the Word was – and is – God, and God was – and is – love, then my reading of and meditation on the Word was – and is – my reading of and meditation on love.

Eureka!

No wonder I was able to point that Facebook group member’s inquiring mind in God’s direction. I have been so immersed in better loving myself that, by default, I have also immersed myself in better knowing God. After all, how can we embrace One without embracing the other? (Okay, that’s enough questions–for now.)

 

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