Friday, December 10, 2010
I have had the most delightful assignment: make a list of 100 affirmations! What a wonderful, uplifting experience! They had to be succinct, and consistent with Unity teachings, an important distinction in these days of buy-an-affirmation.com or whatever the seller calls the website.
Affirmations are a cornerstone of our prayer practice in Unity. These days, affirmations are also a popular way to guarantee ourselves great wealth and happiness, successful weight loss, etc. They've become like mystical spells or incantations, just wave a magic wand and say the right words to guarantee success. New Year’s resolutions remain the granddaddy of affirmation exercises for many of us.
Are these practices on the mark? Well, yes, and no… I agree, to quote Mike Dooley of tut.com, that “Thoughts are things, pick the good ones.” Great mantra for aligning your life. But does God, who knows our needs even before we’re aware of them, require specific wording? Does God pick up the random workings of our subconscious and sometimes primitive self? I can’t believe that any all-powerful, omniscient Divine Being could miss our true intent.
Where affirmations help is not with communicating with God, but with ourselves. Affirmations help us to shape our intention, and talk to our subconscious. They lay a plan of action, and encouragement to follow it. When coupled with denials, which I will address in another post, they are powerful instruments for personal growth.
The challenge, of course, is that we must address our real intent and not fool ourselves with powerful homilies. Yes, affirmations lift us up, but they are most successful when used in conjunction with an eyes-wide-open look at our own internal goals and issues. I am convinced that God hears the words of our hearts, not the words on our lips. Affirmations can help us shape those words by opening up our thoughts and dreams to new possibilities.
Would you like a look at the 100 Affirmations I pulled together for my assignment? They come from a variety of sources, including the Daily Word, writings of some of Unity’s founding thinkers, and my own pen. If you are interested, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will happily attach them to a return email. I hope you find inspiration in them.