At the end of last year, I set a New Years’ resolution for myself. To begin with daily affirmations. As usual, I didn’t begin with this resolution on the first of January, because I am a firm believer that if you want to do anything it happens right away. So I began at the beginning of December.
I created a list of about 15 affirmations that I felt were the right ones for me. All these affirmations were beliefs that I wasn’t experiencing within myself. Like:
- I am enough as I am
- I attract what I want
- My work is valuable
These are just a few, that reminded me of what I wanted to believe and feel. I recited these 15 affirmations at the beginning of my day.
At first, this was amazing. I smiled when I recited them and had moments of visualizations on what it would look like if these affirmations would be implemented within myself. For, maybe, four weeks the daily affirmations were feeling great, but after that each week more tension arose within me. Instead of an effortless shift of my old beliefs into the new ones, I started to experience a battle within my mind. A battle between the old and the new beliefs.
I started watching videos and read articles on affirmations and all of them said that this was natural. That it was natural to experience this friction between old and new. That you had to push through and fight the old beliefs. They were telling me that I had to force my internal growth. So I continued.
For two months up until the beginning of April, I continued reciting these daily affirmations. Until I came in contact with the works of J. Krishnamurti. All of a sudden all of the affirmations crumbled before me. I realized what insanity it was to force new beliefs upon oneself, and have a constant internal fight going on in order to implement these new thoughts and beliefs.
Growth is effortless, after all a plant grows naturally, it is its nature to grow. We have that very same nature. To grow, and evolve. We don’t need to force that.
So I set out to create, or find a better way. One that didn’t involve friction, fighting, forcing. One that was natural and effortless. After all, growth is effortless, after all a plant grows naturally, it is its nature to grow. We have that very same nature. To grow, and evolve. We don’t need to force that.
A Mask, An Illusion We Create For Ourselves
Just to get this out of the way, I am not intending to persuade you into anything. I am not trying to say that you shouldn’t do affirmations, nor that you should follow my guide instead. Above all else, it is best to experiment with this yourself and see if it works for you. There is no one way to all of this. I intend to show you a different way. To bring to your attention an effortless and peaceful way of natural change.
I felt that affirmations became a way to mask my internal battle, and force the transformation of myself. Instead of understanding why I didn’t feel loved, or why I didn’t feel like I was creating quality work, I started to feel that every time a negative or self crippling thought or belief arose I had to fight it with a positive affirmation. Which is tiring to even think off. Let alone go through.
Our brain will never stop thinking, and therefore never stop creating bad thoughts, so our practice of affirmations will become an endless battle against our thoughts.
Our brains think, and that means there are both good and bad thoughts. We only want good ones because they make us feel good, and so we try to force the bad ones away with affirmations. Yet our brain will never stop thinking, and therefore never stop creating bad thoughts, so our practice of affirmations will become an endless battle against our thoughts. Instead of coming to peace with the negative thoughts and beliefs, I faced them in a battle head-on. Day in day out.
This is exhausting, I felt mentally tired of constantly having to fight any negative thoughts about myself or my life that came up. In this way, affirmations became a way to control the mind, and get a specific outcome. I wanted to feel loved, and my way to feel that was through affirmations. The outcome I wanted was a feeling of being loved, the way to experience it was through a desperate effort to control the mind with affirmations.
Trying to control our mind, and thoughts to feel a specific way becomes a fight. Now a fight between countries we despise and reject, yet fighting ourselves internally we feel is okay?
Even writing that down sounds insane. It sounds like, within my mind, there is a dictator that tried to control all the thoughts I have. That dictator only wants the positive ones to roam free. The other ones, the negative ones, must be locked away and forced out of the country of the mind. Doesn’t that sound lunatic to you as well?
Us trying to control our mind, and thoughts to feel a specific way becomes a fight. Now a fight between countries we despise and reject, yet fighting ourselves internally we feel is okay? Any fight both internally and externally is a form of hatred. A form of violence, we shouldn’t want to create. Which made me think, aren’t affirmations making the transformation process of ourselves harder?
An Ideal We Strive For
We use affirmations to implement new ways of thinking, that are more wholesome, positive, and self-loving. This is a wonderful thing, but in the process of implementing these, we are overlooking one incredibly important factor. That by implementing these we aren’t loving ourselves the way we are. Now, what do I mean by that?
Let’s say you feel stressed out because of school, and you are using an affirmation that tells you that everything will be fine. That means you are saying that right now it isn’t fine. That right now, as you are stressing out, you aren’t okay. You are using that affirmation to feel a particular way, a better way, an ideal way to you.
We want to be positive and love ourselves. That’s why we are using affirmations, to implement more positive and loving thoughts. But why do we have such an outstanding desire to be positive and love ourselves?
We are trying to get rid of that bad thought and feeling, and force in positive thought and pleasant feeling. That reciting of the same line over and over again is nothing more than hypnotizing ourselves into believing in an ideal version of ourselves.
We don’t want to feel bad about ourselves, we don’t want to worry, stress out, be angry, doubt ourselves, feel unloved, all the uncomfortable and painful thoughts and beliefs crossing our minds. That’s why we start to affirm the same line over and over again. We are trying to get rid of that bad thought and feeling, and force in a positive thought and pleasant feeling. That reciting of the same line over and over again is nothing more than hypnotizing ourselves into believing in an ideal version of ourselves.
We want to feel loved, peaceful, stress-free, successful, and so on. That’s the ideal version of who we want to be. As of right now, we aren’t that ideal version, so we try to do everything in our power to get to that ideal version of ourselves. Affirmations are one of those ways.
To me, affirmations started to feel like a fight with the person I am right now, and the ideal person I could be in the future. I was constantly striving for an ideal version, totally neglecting the person I am right now. And how beautiful that person is. The ideal version I was striving for is a beautiful thing to go after. A better version of ourselves, but the experience of our life shouldn’t depend on this ideal version.
I was constantly striving for an ideal version, totally neglecting the person I am right now. And how beautiful that person is.
With which I mean to say that the enjoyment of our lives shouldn’t be postponed till the moment we feel like that ideal version of ourselves. Because by striving and working towards that ideal version of ourselves, we will never reach it. You see affirmations are nothing more than a practice to get the desired result, this time the result is internal, a new way of thinking about the world or ourselves. Doing this without the full understanding of ourselves as we are, and finding peace with that, creates friction and only makes the transformation process harder.
We are fighting ourselves with affirmations, when we can make peace with ourselves and through that peace, we create space for a natural and effortless transformation into the beautiful person we dream of being. Now let’s look into what that better way of transformation is.
A Better Way to Transform Your Beliefs
Affirmations, for a lot of people, are great but only because I feel that they don’t yet know the unforced way of changing their beliefs. We are so obsessed with control, that we even try to control our thoughts and beliefs so we can control the way we live our lives. But what if we can release that control and let that beautiful way of living that we all dream of come to play naturally and unforced?
There is a way to do that. That has opened my eyes to many of the practices I took up over the years and how all of them were forcing away a certain feeling of being unloved as I am. Just like affirmations are used to force out bad ideas, and beliefs, and replace them with beliefs that we consider as better, but in this process, we aren’t looking at the root of the problem.
Affirmations are used to force out bad ideas, and beliefs, and replace them with beliefs that we consider as better, but in this process, we aren’t looking at the root of the problem.
The root of the problem lies within us, and it can’t be forced away by reciting a few lines each day. That root will always stay there as long as you don’t understand it. All affirmations, and all the other practices we have to feel better, are only masking this root. But the root of the problem can only be solved by understanding ourselves, and why we feel the way we feel.
This understanding of ourselves results in wisdom. In the knowledge of oneself. That understanding of ourselves comes from self-observance. It is a practice that happens every moment of the day. With no force, no manipulation, or fighting. All we do is observe and be aware of ourselves. This practice isn’t used to force anything to happen, it isn’t used to fight the way we are right now, or to implement new beliefs as affirmations do. We instead make a full effort to understanding ourselves as we are in this very moment.
So let’s give you an example of this. Let’s say you want to be successful, and you use the following affirmation:
I possess the qualities needed to be extremely successful.
Using that affirmation forces a feeling of success. By reciting it you will, over time, believe that you’re successful. And you might be successful. But we do not yet understand the root. Why do you want to be successful? Why are you not enough as you are? And what does success mean to you?
Those are the questions that come up through self observance. The moment we ask ourselves these questions we will see that we start to understand how absurd it is to think that as we are we aren’t successful yet. We want to be successful because as we are right now we don’t feel worthy. But isn’t it insane to believe that you need to achieve, or do something to be worthy and beautiful? That’s what you are saying to yourself the moment you start to use an affirmation to feel successful. It means that as you are, you aren’t successful and you need an affirmation to feel that way.
But isn’t it insane to believe that you need to achieve, or do something to be worthy and beautiful? That’s what you are saying to yourself the moment you start to use an affirmation to feel successful.
Observing ourselves thoroughly and understanding what success means to us, will show you an effortless way to transform yourself. I observed myself and my belief of success. I used this affirmation myself, but I realized that success, to me, meant that I was enjoying life. That I was experiencing it fully and felt at peace. Yes at first I thought that success was related to having a lot of readers or followers, but by observing myself and diving deeper into this, I understood that the only reason I wanted those readers or followers was to feel and experience a sense of peace, enjoyment, and meaning. Not to see myself as successful. That’s what success was to me.
Realizing this showed me that I can feel that right now. I don’t need affirmations or anything to feel at peace, joyful, or meaningful. I didn’t have to fight myself, or anyone to get to that feeling because it is right within me. I need not do anything about that. This flightless, and effortless observance of oneself naturally results in the solution of the negative, or degrading beliefs we have and will lead us into a state of natural self-love, peace of mind, and transformation.
I think that affirmations can be seen as things you’d love to be, like the affirmation “I am loved”. That’s your goal, but by simply reciting this line you are only forcing it upon yourself. Forcing anything isn’t a form of love, it’s a form of violence and aggression. You can become that which you seek to achieve through affirmations right away, by understanding why you don’t feel loved right now. Taking an active effort to understand why you aren’t feeling loved, observing what it is that is making you feel unloved, will naturally result in feeling loved by yourself because you become the love you are seeking for.
Taking an active effort to understand why you aren’t feeling loved, observing what it is that is making you feel unloved, will naturally result in feeling loved by yourself because you become the love you are seeking for.
So yes affirmations are a great way to put into words how you want to feel, but the reciting of that affirmation will take tremendous effort, and time in order to implement that new belief. Self-observation and understanding oneself will result in self-knowledge and that will naturally result in understanding that it is insane that we don’t yet feel the way we want to feel. That understanding results in natural self-love of whatever we are and feel at any moment.
It’s an experience, of fully being aware of life as it is right now, that will flow right into uncovering illusional beliefs, and understanding the only truth there is, that we are love. That we are alive, and that life is manifesting through us in this very moment. We are a miracle, and for that, we don’t need affirmations to understand that we are a miracle happening right now. Our bodies are intricate designs that work in perfect alignment with one another. We can think, and be aware of our thoughts. All these things are miracles.
We can even dream of an ideal future. Of something, we’d love to experience. That experience starts right now. A feeling of being loved, and worthy as you are, starts right here. Not with affirmations, or any other practice that forces out negative thoughts and beliefs. But with a practice of self-observance, and seeing everything as it is. Without forcing it away, or resolving it. Only to observe and understand it. All we need is to be aware of life, as it is. To see that Today We Live. We can make the most of it.
If you want to experience more clarity on this topic and transform your life, by starting on a journey of self-discovery. To learn how you can tap into your inner wisdom, and understand why you want to use affirmations. So that you can feel more alive. Then I want to invite you to listen to the Just Now Podcast. The Just Now podcast is a place for you to just be for a moment. To feel, experience, and understand what it means to be alive. The episodes all give extra clarity on topics discussed in the articles I write through short mindful guided meditations and reflective questions. Serving as a daily check-in to yourself.
I hope to speak to you there, for now, remember today you live! Make the most of it.