Over the past week and a half, I’ve experienced an outpouring of support unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before. I have received hundreds of messages from people collectively lamenting and grieving after the tragedy in Charleston and of people affirming me and showing support of my last blog post. I can only think about the words in the Apostle Paul’s letter to Philemon in the New Testament of the Christian Bible:
I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers, because I hear about your love for all of God’s holy people and your faith in the Lord Jesus. I pray that your partnership with us in the faith may be effective in deepening your understanding of every good thing we share for the sake of Christ. Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, dear sisters and brothers, have refreshed my heart…
I have been with family and friends this past week and it has been a timely break. i did not plan to write such a pot-stirring blog post and then head out of town, but that’s what happened and I am so grateful. Things were put into perspective and I was reminded that the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable and that there is no need to fear. I felt the love of those who matter most in the world to me and was able to be renewed and refreshed. I also had plenty of time to reflect on the numerous messages I received and it became clear that there are so many people who care about the racism and inequity in this country and around the world; so many people who feel helpless and hopeless; so many people who are seeking ways to be the change they seek in the world. And I realized, that not one of us is alone…
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One of the things I’ve learned through therapy and meditation is the importance of affirmations. It may seem kind of corny, but I am now a woman who has taken to writing positive words and phrases in lipstick on my mirror. It helps. Seriously.
One of my therapists used to challenge me to confront my negative thoughts and question their validity. I was then instructed to replace them with positive thoughts, ones that spoke to my goodness, my giftedness and my worthiness. There are still days when I struggle to do this and I am thankful for the people in my life who remind me to be kind to myself. Hence the mirror writing – it speaks to me when I don’t have the words or thoughts to speak to myself.
One friend brought me to tears when she quoted an affirmation from the movie The Help. In a poignant scene, the main character shares with the child that she cares for how important the little girl is and implores her to remember her words, “You is kind. You is smart. You is important.” In a very dark moment this friend repeated these words to me. They made me smile, but more importantly, they reminded me of something my mind was trying to destroy.
Affirmations have been a significant part of my healing and I am an advocate for them and the practice of repeating positive phrases. I believe that there are so many negative messages in the world and if we are not speaking positivity and light into our lives, we perpetuate those things and attitudes that threaten to destroy us.
I am smart. I am kind. I am important. I am loved. I am gifted. I am caring. I am good just the way I am. What are some words and phrases that you can use to remind you that you are amazing?
My prayer for you is that you can begin to see the goodness within.
My prayer is that you affirm others and remind them of their goodness.
My prayer is that the power of affirmations takes over the darkness and negativity in the world.