The bedrock on which one can build the foundation of a purposeful life, is to love and accept oneself exactly as one is. And this might fly immediately in the face of notions, thoughts and beliefs that there are countless things that you need to change about yourself - from appearance and health, to thinking, attitudes, behaviours and such. And one of the most important aspects that people, maybe even you, find difficult to come to terms with is their own past behaviour! And in such a situation, saying that "loving and accepting oneself EXACTLY as one is" is the bedrock, might seem illogical and quite frankly to some very far fetched.
If you knew that you believed every word that you heard or read, would you choose to be careful and aware of what you see, hear or read? And since thoughts are words, would you choose to be aware and appropriate in your thinking? Of yourself, others, and life itself?
The "unconscious" or "subconscious" within is extremely powerful - however it is child like in its innocence (and ignorance - since both signify lack of knowledge - another article on this has been written - titled "Innocence Vs. Ignorance.") It believes everything that one thinks about themselves. It also believes what one hears about themselves, and accepts it as the truth. It does not know humour - it takes everything as the truth. Why? Every thought creates a neural pathway. And the more one thinks the same thought, the stronger the pathway is. And it becomes a belief.
Dr Joseph Murphy in "The power of your subconscious mind” at Page 82, states:
"To AFFIRM is to state that it IS so. As you maintain this attitude of mind as true, regardless of all evidence to the contrary, you will receive an answer to your prayer. Your thought can only affirm, for even if you deny something, you are actually affirming the presence of what you deny. Repeating an affirmation, knowing what you are saying and why you are saying it, leads the mind to that state of consciousness where it accepts that which you state as true. Keep on affirming the truths of life until you get the subconscious reaction that satisfies.”
The truth is that there is always some self-talk that is going on (Even while reading this, you are reading it aloud within your head.) Sometimes, you are aware of the self-talk, and others, you are not. This self-talk normally is aimed at making sure that you are “kept in check.” Given that the self-preservation is hard coded, it is likely that the self-talk also is aimed at ensuring that you are safe, sound and get what you want. However, the manner in which the self-talking takes place is a learned thing. All of us learn how to speak from those around us. And this speaking leads to words, which are the basis of thoughts we think. So, the language is something that we must be aware of.
Coming back to the original theme - of believing everything that one thinks or hears, it might be relevant and useful to note that what sounds humourous does not need to be so. Most "bad" programming of the neural pathways that result in limiting beliefs is as a result of "jokes!" These are statements that are oftentimes made in a jocular vein, and may even be meant to be so - however, the unconscious does not take that as humour - and treats it as the truth. So, is the intent to state that one ought not to have any humour at all? Not at all! Far from it. We must have humour and laugh - however, it need not be at the cost of belittling either oneself or another!
Potential serious disagreement alert!! Chances are that you might have a serious disagreement with what is going to be stated now. Be aware if such a disagreement is noticed. I request you to kindly introspect more on what is being said here, rather than outright dismissing it.
It is very useful to be aware, kind and gentle - with yourself first. And it starts with your thinking. Your thoughts really change you, within and without! The way you treat yourself is the way you treat others. The way you treat others is the way you treat yourself. It is only mirroring what's inside that takes place in the outward actions. And all of that happens at an unconscious level. And it's apparent upon introspection. And introspection requires strength and perseverance to go beyond the most obvious. Changing the way you think about and treat yourself will help to change the way you think about and treat others. Or changing the way you think about and treat others will help to change the way you think about and treat yourself.
And finally coming back to the bedrock, and to useful affirmations: probably most important aspect of one's life is to love and accept themselves exactly as they are. HOW? might be the question. And the answer is simpler than one might think. It involved knowing how the unconscious works, and using appropriate techniques to leverage it. The answer lies in using "positive affirmations" and the most powerful affirmation in this context, is:
"I love and accept myself exactly as I am."
Repeating this enabling, useful affirmation can help in creating the bedrock of all beliefs that are needed to support and enable one to be the best they can be at all times.
The manner in which the affirmation is to be stated is:
with utmost sincerity, conviction and belief
with utmost love, kindness and compassion
What happens when you practice these affirmations? Check it out for yourself! Like Ken Blanchard says, you will either break-even or make a profit. This is a useful statement to affirm anyway. Some things, we understand how they help us, and then we do! Some others, we do, and then experience how it helps us. This probably falls more into the second category - do and then understand how it helps you!
For starters, make it a practice to state this one affirmation, repeatedly, every day. Ideally twice in the day - as soon as possible after one wakes up from sleep, and as close to the time that one goes to sleep. And repeating the affirmation 21 times, during each session. Do it, check out for yourself how it benefits you! You might be surprised yet with this "mumbo jumbo!"
And what the obstacles are that one might come across during the process, well, that maybe will be Part 2 of the series on this subject!