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The Truth About Affirmations

By Avalon De Witt

Over the years I've said countless affirmations. I've collected them, studied them and written my own, for myself, as well as for clients. One day recently, I went through my overgrown collection of affirmations, in an attempt to simplify them. My goal was to narrow them down to 12 perfect affirmations.

I ended up with zero affirmations and a liberating revelation: There is such a thing as trying too hard. Sometimes we become spiritually crowded by our tools and techniques.

In this world of instant gratification, we are conditioned to go from "here" to "there" immediately. Yet, the things that bring about change in our lives are the things in between "here" and "there." We use affirmations to convince ourselves that we are already "there," experiencing the changes we are hoping for. And we miss the process along the way. We not only forget to stop and smell the roses, we try to bypass them entirely. If you want to go somewhere, you must start where you are.

Affirmations are a way of tricking the subconscious into giving us what we want. This kind of mental trickery keeps many people stuck in the very states they are trying to escape. If it is true that what we resist persists, then affirmations can perpetuate the very things we are trying to eliminate.

If you are saying an affirmation such as, "I am abundant," you are saying it because you're probably not feeling too abundant. You are saying the affirmation in order to change that fact. When we lack something, be it love, money, success, or anything else, the last thing we need to do is lie to ourselves about it. That is denial and denial keeps us from taking action to change what is troubling us.

There is hidden opportunity within the void that we are striving to fill. Lack makes us aware of desire, the spark that sets change into motion. We miss half the message until we admit the things we are trying to cover up with affirmations.

If you are lacking something in your life, to tell yourself otherwise is to deny something very powerful, for pain is the great motivator. Saying, "I don't have (fill in the blank)" could be the catalyst that finally awakens a person to change. If we have money, we don't need to work hard to get it. If we have love, we don't need to examine ourselves to see how we can invite people to love us. If life is all sparkles and light, there is no need to light a candle, is there? In other words, telling ourselves that we already have what we really do not have, encourages us to stay right where we are.

We are taught that the Universe is intelligent and responds to our words by giving us what we speak. And this is true, but not always in such a literal way. We are taught, for example, that if we say, "Lovely! I always lose," the Universe responds by saying, "Wonderful! She thinks our work is lovely! Let's keep it up!"

I'd like to propose a new thought. I'd like to propose that perhaps the Universe knows the difference between an observation (or a complaint) and a command. When we are dealing with the Universe and its responses to us, words are a minor consideration. The Universe understands our tone, our energy, our intention before we even open our mouths to utter a word.

Don't get me wrong. Words are important. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." (John 1:1) It's true. Our words do make a difference.

It's important not to berate ourselves with negative words. To tell ourselves that we are crazy, stupid, evil, worthless, or whatever, is harmful. But to tell ourselves that we are wise, brilliant, kind, or helpful, if that's not our experience, is equally harmful. It is extremely damaging to the soul to suppress our natural observations. If your observation is that you are in pain, telling yourself that you are pain-free can eventually break down your ability to trust your observations altogether.

I agree that words are powerful. But tone is even more powerful. Try saying to an animal, in your sweetest, most endearing voice, "You are the stupidest, most ridiculous creature alive." Regardless of your words, the animal responds to your tone. Tone is an expression of your intent. To think the Universe understands our words but not our tone or our intent is to imply that the Universe is unintelligent.

Affirmations are like bandages for negative thinking. They don't cure it. They only cover it up. It is not necessary to lie to yourself in order to change your thinking. Negative thinking always stems from a wound in the soul. Covering a wound can help, but only to a point.

If we want to change our thinking, we need to work from the inside out. We need to get to the core of the wound in our soul and truly heal it. Affirmations are an attempt at reprogramming the mind. But no amount of reprogramming can mend a wounded soul. When we can look at the wound in our soul without shrinking back, look at it with love and see the wisdom of it as a part of the grand design, then we have begun that healing process.

Here are five simple alternatives to affirmations:

1. Relax - Take it easy. Take in some silence. Stop trying to fix (control) everything in life. Let yourself observe the flow of things and simply feel yourself in the midst of it. Be your natural self. Just be.

2. Give Thanks - The most effective affirmation is a simple prayer of gratitude. Especially gratitude for the things you have that you don't want. That's right. If you are struggling with lack of anything, give thanks for that. Give thanks - for the good and the bad. As we give thanks for the rain to come, let us also give thanks for the droughts in our lives.

3. Affirm the Truth - about ourselves and our lives without judgment. There is great power in admitting the truth to ourselves. Let your inner conflicts surface and affirm your discoveries. Acknowledge your desire. If you want to truly empower yourself, build on your strengths. This is what the most successful people do.

4. Set Your Goals - your intent. Let your vision unfold. Let yourself see what you would rather be experiencing. See that check in the mail, that healthy body in the mirror, that new love you dream of. Notice what within you conflicts with that dream. This is where so many of us get stuck. Sometimes we don't realize that we have conflicts with the dream. The dream is like a bouquet. It takes a bit of arranging.

5. Take Action - to change. Give energy to your intent. What would a person do to get to the place that you dream of? Are there actions you are avoiding? Don't just sit around talking to yourself. Get to work! And be persistent.

Our words can be a significant factor in creating our reality. But words are an outward expression of the being within. The being within can be affected by outward expressions, but people who get lasting results are the people who begin change from within. When you shift your being within, your outward expression naturally shifts and you don't have to force it with your words.

See Also:

The Strangest Secret
Your belief system, like your computer, doesn't judge or even question what you input; it merely accepts your thoughts as the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Think thoughts of defeat or failure and you're bound to feel discouraged. Continuous thoughts of worry, anxiety and fear are unhealthy and often manifest in the body as stress, panic attacks and depression.

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Avalon De Witt has practiced as a professional psychic and spiritual counselor for over 11 years and has studied the Tarot and other forms of divination for over 22 years. Avalon believes that the Light of Divinity resides in us all, and she is devoted to revealing that Light in your life.  Visit to learn how you can reclaim your light! is developed and maintained by ICBS, Inc.
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