An affirmation is a statement used to assert something as true. To affirm is to assert positively; to tell with confidence; to declare the existence of something; to maintain as true . . .
The Apostle Paul affirmed Jesus to be alive instead of dead as the Jews asserted. Here Paul declared with confidence the truth in spite of the fact that Jesus had been crucified, was dead and buried. Those are facts, but Truth is: Jesus is alive. That is an affirmation.
Affirmations help us walk in harmony with who we really are. Sometimes our feelings are not based on real truth, but on false belief systems established in us when we were very young and which have remained unchallenged. As we grow and mature in the knowledge and understanding of “who we are” replacing those false belief systems with Truth, affirmations become vital elements in the process. Every time we assert truth, that truth becomes stronger within us and a greater part of “who we are” — our identity.
An affirmation may not “feel” true at first because that thought may not have been the “norm” for us, but as we continue stating the truth our feelings will follow, and our perceptions of ourselves and others will begin to reflect real truth. This is a very important aspect of relationships because we treat ourselves and others as we perceive them.
Using affirmations is the process of speaking to our own souls. The Psalmist, David, used affirmations repeatedly in the psalms. “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, Bless His Holy Name.” David is commanding his own soul (mind, emotions, will) to bless the Lord. In Psalm 42, verses 5 and 6, David talks to his soul which is cast down, or depressed and disquieted, commanding it to “hope in God” and ending with an affirmation: “I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance.” The same process is repeated in Psalm 43:5 and in many other places.
REQUISITES FOR AN EFFECTIVE AFFIRMATION:
In order to be effective an affirmation must:
- Be true
- Be intentional — made with the intention of living the truth being spoken
- Be stated using the present tense, optimal language
- Be spoken out loud
- Begin with the words, “I am . . .”
- Be stated in the positive
- Be short enough to memorize
- Include at least one feeling word — use the feelings you expect to enjoy when the truth you’re speaking becomes really real and alive in your own soul
Affirmations are powerful tools in building healthy relationships with others in your life. Again, they must be true, spoken sincerely, and an acknowledgment of that person’s successful action in his/her own role. It’s the old idea of “catching someone being good,” performing well or appropriately and noticing it with words of affirmation. It doesn’t need to be long and drawn out — short, simple, and effective is the goal. When affirmations are used effectively for ourselves and others, they help build lasting, healthy bonds in our relationships.
Set a goal of using each new affirmation for at least twenty-one days. It takes that length of time for a new habit to begin making a groove in the brain which is the beginning of a new habit.
“Sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny.” Author unknown
What do you believe? What beliefs guide your life? Mold your choices? Govern your decisions? Regulate your fleshly appetites? What beliefs identify who you are and who you are not? Write your Statement of Belief. Continue tweaking it until it truly defines you. Are you strengthened by reading it? Does it sound like just a bunch of nice things to say, or is it real and honest and true? Keep on until it is YOU and TRUE!!
Patricia Smith (c) 8/21/2020