At some point in your life you have probably said something that was hurtful to someone. You also likely know the experience of using your words to uplift someone, to make them feel better. Less recognized, however, is the lasting effect that other people's words have upon us, especially when they come from our primary relationships.
My father used to say to me, "When you're 40, you won't have a pot to piss in." That was my dad's way of communicating his fear that I would not find financial stability in my life and that I would suffer the way he had under the weight of economic insecurity. The truth is he cared deeply about me and only wanted me "to figure it all out." Unfortunately, the words he chose and the underlying fear brought about a different kind of effect than my dad or I had hoped for. These words ended up being a curse with energy and a life all their own, which rented space in my mind both subconsciously and consciously until much later in my life. I would come to understand that to be truly free and to find what I call true recovery, I would have to admit that I had made these words true in my mind. I, myself, had been holding the energy of these words and I had to let go of them in order to transform myself. I decided to rewrite my dad's "curse" into words that more accurately represented his love and support of me. Rather than, "When you're 40, you won't have a pot to piss in," I came up with: "You are surrounded by abundance, Tommy, and I trust you to find your way and that your way is your path and it is the right path for you. I love you."
The mind is a computer. It does not feel emotion. Emotion comes from and lives elsewhere. If you tell the mind something, like a computer, it takes it at face value. If deep in your mind, you keep repeating or hearing negative words put there by someone else, the mind, on some level, starts to believe it. This is partly why positive affirmation is so important in our lives. Yes, we have to look within to find fulfillment, but we do not live as an island separate from our fellows. We are all connected and we have an effect on each other. The loving, consistent support of family and friends is part of the reason people find peace and happiness in this life. It makes sense that we have to exorcise from our mind-body system the negative words left there by others. The good news is there are so many tools now at our disposal that accomplish this. If you think for a moment about the "classic" phrases you've heard about yourself throughout your life, you will surely come up with both positive and negative examples. The questions are -- what do you hold onto? What have you made "real" by identifying with it?
Do This Exercise: Spend five minutes writing out the words you carry around about yourself. Don't skip anything that comes up. Just write it out. Ask yourself where or who those words came from. See if they carry a positive or negative spin. Whatever is positive, you can keep. Anything negative has to go because it does not support your innermost desire to grow into the fullest expression of your awesome self. Re-write the negative phrases into positive ones and begin to repeat them often every day, either aloud or in your mind.
The goal is simple. No matter where it originated, do not complete a negative sentence in your head about yourself anymore.
I wish this for you in this holiday season and beyond.
With Love and Gratitude,
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