A positive thought/affirmation can only interfere with our healing moving forward if we ignore what often turns out to be its most potent gift (“gift” in German means poison). I am referring to what sometimes gets triggered in the shadowy underside of a positive declaration.

When you affirm yourself, it is important to be open to whatever arises. For instance, you might say, “I am beautiful, lovable and desirable.” but then feel a sadness welling up. And the more you repeat the affirmation, the stronger the sadness grows, so that you can no longer ignore its message. In other words, the more you think on or speak the positive, the louder and more emphatic becomes the negative voice, until you can no longer resist it.

As you surrender to the pain that now may include hurt and anger, you are in the flow, the sacred flow. And there, the inner dialogue with self, your inner child — and father, mother, siblings, teachers, bullies, religious authorities, bosses, predators, partners, lovers, friends, all the voices of those past and recent past who seemed to not love, respect or honor you — are now clamoring for your attention. Let it all rise up to your consciousness, and let all the voices speak, as you now speak, both the inner child and the adult you have become. Let the healing now begin.

Perhaps you have elected to play the role of the loving parent to your inner child, who now is basking in the feelings of being loved, desired and told how beautiful she is. Then, as you are experiencing a greater joy and upliftment, you start repeating out loud, “I feel beautiful, lovable and desirable.” And you really mean it.

Soon you are declaring the original, opening affirmation, “I am beautiful, lovable and desirable,” as if you are saying it for the first time, because it now feels like the truth.

So what has occurred is a profound, “‘radical” (as in going to the “root”) healing of yourself, your soul, in a way you had never bargained for. And it is a process that does not happen overnight.

Indeed, it is a journey that can last a lifetime — perhaps many lifetimes.

For you are getting acquainted with who you are, the whole of you — and all the parts embraced, tended and accepted. You are your own unconditional lover and beloved. You really don’t need anyone else. But when true love comes calling, she’ll be like frosting on your cake.

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Astrid Bergie is a mystic, poet, metaphysician and writer. Contact her at astrab33@gmail.com.

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