I’ve been thinking about personal affirmations lately — those helpful declarations that get people through their dark nights of the soul.
Some people etch a soothing phrase onto their wall, or repeat it under their breath, or tattoo it onto their skin. It doesn’t matter if it’s cheesy or clichéd or naïve. All that matters is that they have a relationship with their statement, and they believe it to be true.
It’s an incantation. A mantra. An invocation of the divine.
My mother says “everything happens for a reason” as if no one else on the planet has ever uttered those words in that order. Somehow, she takes ownership of that overused phrase, and puts it to work.
My friend Amanda has a cursive sentence encircling her wrist: “Write! Writing is for you.” Her eyes sparkle when she speaks of the passage that inspired her ink and continues to drive her work. She doesn’t seek approval of it.
My brother once wrote a heartfelt song for his high school rock band. When he sang the refrain, he would close his eyes and sing from his soul: “No. I cannot be bothered by this.”
In a world of complexity, it strikes me how simple these affirmations can be. They remind us that our inner dialogue is powerful, and that we need to be conscious of the things we’re saying to ourselves — especially the things we say over, and over, and over again.
I’m going to wonder about this for my own purposes, but not aggressively.
Maybe my affirmation already lives in me.
Meantime, I’d be delighted to hear from you. Do you have a personal mantra?