Making Friends With Your Fear

Fear is something I have plenty of, and I know I’m not alone. It comes in many different forms as well. Depending on the situation, it can range from fear for your physical security, food insecurities, living situation… The list goes on. But regardless of the source, the feelings are still the same.

It’s difficult to handle, and most of us, including myself, spend a lot of time running from it. I’ll go into a few of my fears and how I’ve run in the past, but also how I’m now learning to face my fears and become stronger for it. It’s no easy sometimes, that’s for sure. But it gets easier the more you stay in the feelings. Let’s take a look at some of the ways I used to run from my fears. Maybe you’ll see some similarities with yourself and find comfort in knowing that you’re not alone.

The Fear And Why I Ran From It

For me, the fear is a sense that no matter what happens, I’m not going to be okay. The worry sets in and I think about the terrible consequences of whatever I’m worried about taking up residency. The result is not ideal and it also makes regular visits. For me, it can feel like a consistent fixture in my emotional life.

If the fear itself wasn’t bad enough, I would also worry about when the fear was going to return. This cycle would replay itself, creating fear upon fear. I’d become fearful, the fear subsided, then I get anxious about feeling that fear again. And when all the fear and anxiety became too much, I ran from it.

I would use a myriad of methods to avoid the fear. Alcohol and pornography being my two main methods, but distractions such as T.V. were another way to avoid my emotional experience. Anyway I could numb out the discomfort I would give a try.

But this never really worked for me. The fear and anxiety would consistently return. Like an old friend, I knew it’s embrace all too well. Or enough to know that I needed to pick up a drink and numb out the feelings that were too much to handle. I was drinking coffee and taking Adderall to speed past the feelings of anxiety and drinking alcohol and taking muscle relaxers to numb out the feelings I was speeding away from in the mornings. It was exhausting.

And most of my running was due to me feeling abandoned. I was left and abandoned by everybody that was close to me from a very early age. My entire family and a good portion of my friends, all my best friends and every would-be role model, all vanished like it was magic.

I would later learn to detach from others before they got too close to me, to save myself from the pain of yet another abandonment. This was no bueno. But this way of detaching left me feeling even more lonely and still more abandoned. So by the time my marriage dissolved and the woman I thought I loved abandoned me, I knew something had to change.

Staying With The Fear

There’s a Mark Twain quote that I’ve always loved and it’s something that I remember in times when I’m caught up in the feelings of fear. It goes, “Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.” This reminds me that the fear is normal. It’s okay for it to be here, only I shouldn’t let the fear control my actions.

Tara Brach has a talk about dealing with the fear in a direct way. Her method is, attend and befriend, and it’s something that has been helpful for me in my journey on healing from past traumatic events. Her message is essentially, that fear is an emotion that’s trying to tell us something. Usually about how we’re currently in danger in some way.

For me, and I’m sure for a lot of us, the traumatic or painful events that have formed our fears, reshape themselves in current and similar situations to try to keep us safe. Only there is no longer a need to feel fearful in our current situation, because those old events are no longer happening.

For example my fear sometimes comes in the form of connecting with others. This was a way for me to remind myself that other people have been historically unsafe to get close to because they will end up abusing me in some way. But this isn’t true anymore. Or at least I’m able to keep myself safe now if someone does hurt me or tries to abuse me again.

Keeping Ourselves Safe

This was a big task for me, and an important skill to learn especially because I was never taught how and abused by those who were supposed to teach me. I was feeling pretty unsafe a good portion of the time, especially around those closet to me. So I needed to learn how to feel at ease around others, or I was going to end up leading a very isolated existence.

Learning to Trust

I had to first learn that other people are trust worthy and generally good people. This was confusing for me, because all the people I had around me in my early years were not only distrustful of others, but they were actively looking to take advantage of other people as well. This definitely sent me the message that people are dangerous, but also that I needed to act in the ways I had modeled for me in order to survive. I.e. mean, distrustful and to pull away from those who got too close.

To counter these old messages, I had to learn to trust and rely on others. I started small, first with those who were closest in, then extending that trust outward. I knew I could count on a handful of friends and family in the beginning. Four or five people that I engaged with regularly. This was a huge step for me and no easy task.

I was taught that since I couldn’t trust anybody, I had to do everything on my own. So relying on others for help with even the smallest of tasks was a challenge. I would make excuses for why I was doing things solo such as, “no-one does it as well as I do”, needing it to be perfect. Or the reverse, “can’t anybody do anything right?!” Both ways of being essentially saying that I was unable to rely on others, while really just being too scared to ask for help.

On the up side, when I finally swallowed my pride and learned to ask for help, things became so much easier. I was no longer running around frantically, trying to keep all the plates I had spinning from crashing down. I was still working hard, but those I invited into my life were willing to lend a hand.

Letting Those You Trust Help

A great example of letting those I learned to trust help me is with my student loans. As I’ve said, when I came to and realized I was living a life lead by fear, I was isolated from just about everybody. I had also racked up just north of 100k in debt, 78k being in student loans. This was quite the wake up call.

So I started in on my debts using the Dave Ramsey method of throwing everything I had at my debt, picking up a part time job which turned into my full-time gig along the way. But with such a large sum to pay back, it seemed as though it would take a life’s time to pay back all that I owed.

So when I started the conversation with those I chose to let into my circle, I was surprised to find out how willing they were to help me out of the hole I had dug. As they saw me working to pay off my debt, a few of my supports offered to chip in 1k for every 10k I paid off. I was ecstatic to receive this news and made my efforts just that much easier knowing that I’d be finished with my goals earlier than I had planned.

And with the promising news of president Biden saying that he will make a decision about debt forgiveness by the fall of ’22, I reached out to another support who offered to chip in some as well. This was most unexpected as the relationship I have with this support has been strained in the past. But I find the more positive I am, along with the work I’m willing to put into the relationships, the more support I receive in all sorts of ways. But this type of relationship building takes work.

Working To Keep These Relationships Alive To Ward Off Fear

Many of the relationships I am currently rebuilding have sustained some pretty intensive damage in the past from both parties. As I’ve said before on this blog, we were mean, especially towards one another. So as I was learning how to care for myself by reparenting and learning the act of self-care, I was also extending what I learned with my own research and extending it to those I was learning to trust.

What I had never learned, and what is probably a no-brainer to mot people is, that when you’re in a relationship with others, you need to tend to it. Otherwise you will be left with something that doesn’t quite resemble connection and definitely is void of support.

For example, when I started building my relationship with my father and step-mom again, I had neglected our relationship so badly that we had almost no shared common interests and nothing to talk about. Our conversations were overly formal and guarded with very little emotional content.

As time passed and while I was learning to trust people again, I began to include my dad and step-mom into the habits and rituals I was learning to keep for myself. One of them being my self-care dinners I make for myself once a week.

Since these dinners had been so beneficial for my well being, I decided to extend this newly developed skill in caring for myself to those I trusted. And what came from it was, family dinner Fridays. We now come together every Friday night, one person picks a recipe to cook and we all make the meal together. The food is almost always good, the mood and interactions are definitely less formal and we’re all enjoying not only ourselves, but the company of each other. We feel more like a family because of it.

Ask The Friend For Love

And this type of relationship building extend to friend as well. I was recently having a conversation with a friend about how difficult it was to pay down debt when the numbers feel so large. We are both in similar situations and have been a good source of support for one another.

I was thinking about how I wanted to reach out to my friend more often, seeing as we only spoke maybe once every three weeks, when he told me that he was also feeling pretty isolated with the irregular hours he worked, consequently having a lot of free time on his hands. I suggested that we hang out more often and he was more than happy to get together more regularly.

I had just assumed that he was busy living his own life and that if I reached out too often, I would be a burden to him in some way. This was not the case and in fact, most of my friends feel exactly the same way. So if you’re feeling as though you’re being a burden to your friends, don’t believe it. Have a conversation with them and find out how they feel before you make any judgements.

Living From A Place Of Support, Not Fear

Fear can be tricky. If we’re not careful, the fearful emotions we have will take the wheel and we’ll be in the passenger seat of our own life bus. This is how I spent a good portion of my time when it came to making decisions about the direction of where my life was heading and it was definitely not a desirable place to be.

But when we choose to make friends with the fear, the fear of connecting to others, the fear of giving up the control of doing everything ourselves and release that isolation, we begin to heal from the fear. Like Mark Twain said, it’s still there, only we are behind the wheel of our life bus and we can choose to let those who will support us on for our journey and join in for some of the ride.

So fear not! Know that you are not alone and that the journey gets easier the more you’re able to let those who want to, help you. Peace, : ) and thanks for reading.

Image Credits: “O OUTRO LADO DO MEDO É A LIBERDADE (The Other Side of the Fear is the Freedom)” by jonycunha is marked with CC BY-SA 2.0.

Feeling Alone: Being Resilient While You’re with Yourself in Relationship

Being alone in a relationship isn’t always easy. Take away the distractions that we often pump into our day to day lives and it’s nearly impossible. People expend a lot of effort to get away from the life that’s right here. This is what Tara Brach calls “the unlived life”. And it’s aptly named. Because this is the life that is usually filled with concern, fear or anxiety. All emotions that nobody really wants to be with.

Being Vulnerable With Difficult Emotions

What happens if I disagree with my employer or boss at work? What happens when I feel differently than what most people feel as being “normal”? Or I don’t go along with the status quo? These are some difficult questions. And ones that come with a host of feelings. Questions revolving around feeling excluded or alone in your experience or emotions in relationship are vulnerable places to be.

But this is where we have a choice. A lot of people, including my past self, chose to run from these vulnerable emotions. It’s easier to do what is expected of us in order to keep the existing established rules. Even if the rules are dysfunctional. Because those that are keeping the rules, sometimes need validation of their rule keeping status, to rationalize running from their vulnerable emotions. To feel as though they are doing what is best or are in charge. And all in the name of avoiding their unlived life. I.e. the vulnerability of the difficult emotions and the uncertainty of unstable emotional states.

And all of this is difficult. That’s why we’re running from it in the first place! If these emotions were easy to manage, I’d imagine we’d all have many more healthy relationships. There would be a lot less conflict in relationship as well. But the truth is, we live in a world that is fraught with these types of vulnerable relationships. And on top of the vulnerability, these ways of running from emotions can sometimes be difficult for us to see. Making them even more insidious and the root cause of much of our anxiety around being in relationships.

Staying in Difficult Emotions

When you are stuck in the middle of difficult emotions, such as our perceived expectations of ourselves by others, i.e. pigeonholing or mind reading, most often it is difficult to see past the immediate dis-ease of feeling vulnerable around others. We can feel alone and uncomfortable. And instead of staying with the emotions, we avoid the feelings and situations. The path is clear to follow, but it’s not always the healthiest path. The path of avoiding relationships.

And this path of what can be a confusing maze of expectations, mixed with emotions, can cause miscommunication. From my experience, when you expect a person to behave, act or take on/conform to certain unspoken rules, this is when people feel as though they aren’t adding up to another’s expectations. Or just plane don’t feel enough in themselves. And a life’s time worth of feeling as though you’re not adding up is a lonely place.

So if we are constantly trying to live up to somebody else’s standards, but feel we’re coming up short, how do we break the cycle? Of handing the responsibility of living our own lives to another, by trying to live up to what they expect (being docile) of us? I found, for myself anyways, that setting goals and owning my feelings are paramount to taking the leading role in living my life.

Living Your Own Life

I was so used to deferring the responsibility of my choices and relationships to somebody else, that it just became second nature. And there are no shortage of people that are willing to take up that role if you let them. So I first had to recognize what it was that made me afraid of the responsibility of my life and relationships, in order to take up the reigns again. And this takes patience.

Patience first with you’re emotional experiences. And second, with finding the ways to best take care of yourself and your emotional needs. If this is something you’ve been leaving for someone else to manage, than it is going to be a steep learning curve.

Your Life is a Big Responsibility, But it’s Your Own

For me, I had left that job for the person I was in a romantic relationship with. I had learned this from my caregivers. So I actively sought out this relationship dynamic. And as I’ve said above, there was no shortage of people looking to live my life for me. It wasn’t until I had ended my relationship with the person that was probably looking for safety in control, that I was left with the unsettling truth that I needed to show up for and live my own life. This was a shock for sure. Because it was something I was completely unaware of until I was left by myself.

I had to make all my decisions for myself, by myself. Everything from grocery shopping and cooking, to budgeting, exercise and work decisions. All were left to my underdeveloped judgements. It was scary and overwhelming at first. I remember feeling as though I couldn’t possibly take on the entire task of living my life. But what I found made the biggest impact for me, which helped me to make these decisions without being overwhelmed by their scope was, patience. And taking things one step at a time.

Taking Things Slowly & With Patience

Taking things slowly was important to learn. To recognize that I didn’t need to do it all at once. That I could take each task on slowly and deliberately. This helped me to not only make healthier choices, but also to have a clearer presence of mind while making my decisions. Which meant I was also making better choices.

I also learned how to be patient with my emotional experiences, as they were happening. Knowing when that little voice that pops up, the one that tells you that you need to act immediately, or else and how to stay calm during that urge, brought me peace. But what is also important is knowing how to let that voice have its piece. While not responding from that voice. By being patient enough for the feeling of urgency to wear off. Because it will subside. Then you can respond from a place that is more calm and you’re able to see the situation from a clearer perspective.

And instead of feeling stressed out, as though you are frantically looking for answers to the emotion provoking situation, patience with ourselves allows us the time and space necessary to feel comfortable with the kinetic feelings of urgency and uncertainty. This also allows us to take a responsible and grounded approach to taking care of the situations that need our attention.

Patience In the Work Place

For me, one of the ways this has played out in my recent past is in my professional life. I’m currently in the middle of picking up a new role and responsibilities at my new job. I went in for a shift and it was unlike the experiences I was used to in a similar role at a different agency. My first reaction was to walk away from the role. I thought “this is unacceptable” and felt unwilling to compromise. This was, for me, the voice of urgency telling me I was in a situation that wasn’t safe because it was new.

But I decided to give the issue some more thought. To practice patience. I talked it over with a trusted friend who helped me form some thoughtful and direct questions that would communicate what my concerns were. Also how I was feeling about what I was experiencing. I got some advice and guidance from my friend with a new perspective, but I still had to go inward and explore what I was feeling about my situation.

Building Resilience

What are my thoughts and feelings about what I’m planning on doing in asking these questions? Also, how am I going to attune to my feelings? And this is where resilience is cultivated. Because essentially, these are the places where you meet your fears. You feel them out and find out what they are telling you. Then you can brace yourself for how you’re going to be with the fear. Move through it to a place where you are confident in your ability to progress.

And it’s not easy. With me taking on a new role in a new position, I had some fears about my role. Some concerns about how things are run currently, compared to how I was used to them being done in the past. I then had to be patient with my initial response, which was to walk away from the position out of fear. Then I had to feel the fear and understand what it was trying to tell me. I did this by exploring why I was uncomfortable, fearful. Once I explored my fears I came up with a plan to take care of and attune to my fears. So they didn’t grow unchecked, which allowed me to take control of my actions.

The step of being present with the discomfort of the feelings that are arising, when I’m exploring and encountering new situations that provoke fear and uncertainty, is an important one. Because if it wasn’t for the ability to stay with the feelings, especially the fearful ones, then you would be constantly on the run. Keeping yourself in your comfort zone. A place where you are unable to grow.

Moving Through the Fear

And this is how we learn to navigate our fears and anxieties while moving forward with our lives in a positive direction. Staying flexible enough to face each new feeling or fear that rises to meet us. But also holding our ground and knowing that we are enough to meet and grow through these new situations. Again, not always an easy task, but that’s where you build resilience, in overcoming a challenge.

Because the decisions, especially the fearful ones, that come into our lives that we all have to face on our own, builds resilience. As I’ve said above, I used to defer my life’s responsibility to others. For example, I remember living with my ex-wife, in an apartment that she had found, working at a job I wasn’t very happy with, while going to school for something I wasn’t really sure I wanted to do. I had no idea what I was doing with my life. I just kept on going, being propped up by those around me.

Learning to Support Myself & Others in Relationship

And it’s not as though I’m not grateful for those who supported me along the way. But I wasn’t allowing myself to come to terms with where I was in life. The uncertainty of my life’s direction. I did this by surrounding myself with those who were happy to be in a position of caretaking for me. And this is where I was trapped in an unhealthy cycle of being in relationship. Me by not facing the fearful emotions I was running from, because I thought the responsibility of living my own life was too much and my partner, who was happy to tell me what to do and how to be for her own reasons.

And when our relationship finally ended, it came as a surprise to everybody. We were all finally forced to confront what it was that we were avoiding. But what came as the biggest surprise, to me anyway, was that I realized I was strong enough to change.

Making the Change

At the time, it was the affection of another that woke me up. That made me realize that I had the ability and strength to face my own fears. But where it really took shape was when I told my partner about my feelings. How someone else’s affections had woken my emotions. Emotions that had been dormant since my trauma. And that I was willing to work on our relationship in the unhealthy form it had taken.

Ultimately my partner had decided she was unwilling to work on our relationship. I don’t blame her for ending our relationship. She, like I was, was probably running from the difficult work of understanding the dynamics of our relationship. Including the places of fear, vulnerability and uncertainty. This makes me sad for what we could have been if we had faced those emotions together. But first we needed to do the inner work, to know what we are bringing into the relationship.

You Don’t Have to Go it Alone

So if you have found yourself in a similar situation, take heart. Resilience is possible as long as you are patient with yourself. Stick around while you’re going through and sorting the difficult, fearful emotions. Feeling alone while you are sorting through these emotions is common. But it’s something we all have to face eventually. And it also helps to know that you are not the first.

Many have come before you and have done the difficult work of coming to terms with their fears, vulnerabilities and anxieties. And it doesn’t last forever. It may take some time coming to a place of understanding these feelings, but we all get there eventually. I hope this has been of some help to you. And as always, peace, and thanks for reading : )

Image Credits: “Niagara Falls Peaceful Solitude” by ***Bud*** is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Updated: 9/30/22

Affirmations: More than Just Positive Self Talk

“Affirmations? Really?” That used to be what I thought about them. Of course my introduction to them was from the Saturday Night Live’s character, Stuart Smalley. His daily affirmation of, “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggonit, people like me.” This scathing introduction to the world of self-help was just the type of fuel an adolescent me needed, to show me that self-help was for the “weak”. It also give me the fuel to make fun of those willing to look for something that would help them. Making them stronger and more resilient. Of course I was thirteen and knew everything at the time. So I should probably cut my younger self some slack : )

Toxic Masculinity and Other Lesson On How Not to Be a Man

All joking aside, I’ve come to see affirmations in a much different light as when I was a teenager. I’ve been using them as a way to help create a stronger sense of self worth. To build confidence and help give myself the guidance I so desperately needed in my childhood. Of course I had to swallow a little bit of pride first. If you’ve read my post on toxic masculinity, you’ll know I was raised to believe that affirmations were for the ineffectual, the weak.

According to my family, I was a man at eight years old. Right after my parents divorced, I became “the Man of the house”. Or so I was told by almost every male role model I had at the time. It seemed a way of consoling me. As if to say “buck up son, no time to be upset, you have new responsibilities to get after”. Looking back now this all seems so ridiculous. But when I was eight, it felt like the weight of the world was just dropped on my shoulders.

Rigid Values Added to the Confusion

From my younger perspective, men took what they wanted and were the embodiment of confidence and strength. If there was a problem, the man would take care of it using sheer force. There was no need to account for feelings. Or even others points of view. So from this mindset, affirmations weren’t something a man needed. Because he already imbued strength and confidence by virtue of being a man. They were a given.

I even came to live life to my family’s standard of what it means to be a man in the ways that made them comfortable. Something I’ve created an affirmation around to combat the toxic masculinity that was handed down to me. Because that way of living left me feeling hollow. I pushed everyone away with cutting criticisms and needed to numb the feelings I had been ignoring in order to be who I thought needed to be. All based on how I saw those closest to me behave. It was anxiety producing. And most of the time it filled me with fear.

Consequences of Living the Toxically Masculine Life

And all this fear that was growing unchecked, was fueled by pride and bravado. I was perpetually putting down others to make myself seem more confident, more capable than I actually was. The nature of my thoughts were negative and born from insecurity. And I was practicing them constantly. The more I practiced them, the deeper I sunk into the hollowness I had creating. There’s a Modest Mouse album I used to listen to often and its name embodies this sentiment for me. “Building Nothing out of Something”. A chilling reminder of my past self.

And that’s what it felt like for sure. After I had burned all my bridges, I was left completely alone. With only my negative thoughts to keep me company. That was about six years ago. And since then I’ve been rebuilding well, just about every aspect of my life. From relationships to people, to food, and maybe most importantly, to myself. I had to find a way to replace that constant negative self talk. Also the doubt that had become my M.O. for so long. That’s when I began using positive affirmations.

Positive Affirmations and Self Talk

I think the idea took root while I was taking a psychology course at my local community college. My professor Gerry, was an upbeat woman in her early sixties. She spoke a lot about positive psychology which is branch of psychology that focuses on the individuals strengths. To help us live a fuller, happier life with more meaning. Affirmations for me, are a way to focus on these. The positive qualities of my life.

Checking the Baggage

But there was a lot of unchecked emotional baggage I needed to go through (that I’m still going through), in order to know what aspects of my life to focus on. Also, how I was relating to both my emotions and areas of my life. This was a way for me to give my life some direction using affirmations to help me stay focused.

I mostly narrow in on the ways that I’ve experienced trauma and how unsafe I feel around others. Also on the loneliness from the neglect and verbal abuse I experienced. I should also mention that I’ve been doing this work with the help of a therapist. They’ve been an invaluable resource for me on my journey. So if there’s one bit of advice I can give, it is do not go this alone.

There are many times where I needed the guidance of someone who knows about the path I’m on. And if you had caregivers like mine, you may not have many healthy lessons to draw from. This is exactly where outsourcing some healthier, new perspectives on how to handle your experiences in the present that may bring up old ways of reacting to emotions would come in handy. It also may help you to see them from a new, positive and strength based perspective. A therapist’s help may be the difference between establishing a healthy, lasting change, or opening an old wound that you may not be capable of processing alone.

Practice, Practice, Practice

And it’s after understanding how we react to our emotions and experiences, that we’re able to forge affirmations that help us to facilitate change. Mine are a work in process. They also alter slightly as I come to understand how I react to the maladaptive lessons I’ve learned.

Because I’m now just finding out that my emotions aren’t anything to be ashamed of. No matter how I was shamed for having them as a child. It took decades of repeated reinforcement of harmful lessons on how to be with my emotions that got me to where I am. So I’m not surprised to discover that it takes practice to reinforce the positive perspectives I wish to embody. Lots of practice. And sure, it’s little frustrating, but not surprising.

One way I’ve been frustrated and veered from the path is, when I’m caught in the grip of an irrational fear that I know stems from my abuse. When the fear sets in in the form of negative thinking, my mind wants to believe the thoughts that are running through my head. This usually leads to more fear and anxiety. It’s then that a part of my affirmations will come to mind. like a firm place to hold on to. Some stability. But it’s because of how persistently I practice positive self-talk that I’m able to create this. The space necessary to gain a clear, positive perspective when I’m in the thick of difficult thoughts and emotions.

And I cannot stress enough that it takes practice. The more often you say and focus on the positive, the more often your mind will default to it when thoughts and circumstances pop up. For example if you’re insecure about meeting new people or being judged, then the more often we say to ourselves, “it’s okay to be me just as I am”, the more likely we are to remember this sentiment when we are in a situation where we are being introduced to someone for the first time.

Context Matters

I say mine once a day. Though sometimes, if a part of them comes to mind, I scan my circumstances to see if it’s tied to an old belief. To see if I’m relating to it (the affirmation) and my current situation and am I using old negative beliefs to define my current experience. If so, I’ll remind myself of the positive ways I want to relate to my thoughts and emotions, in the here and now. Then sometimes I’ll repeat the whole of my affirmations for a little extra boost of confidence. This usually helps to subside any of whatever anxiety and fear may be present.

And it’s not always easy. To be completely honest, sometimes it just plain sucks. But it never lasts very long and it subsides much quicker now than it ever has. Also, the more often I practice them, the better and more confident I feel about myself. All while being able to endure the difficult emotions and finding my footing onto more positive and stable ground.

Sometimes Being Kind Means Going Against the Grain

Practicing affirmations probably isn’t in style. I’m not sure how people would react to me if I told them I regularly give myself pep talks to build confidence. As well as to generally feel better about myself. But maybe that’s part of what helps to build the courage we’re seeking. Doing something that isn’t in line with what others see as “tough” or “strong”. But striking out on our own and finding what helps to make us feel stronger and more courageous.

I know it seems cliché but it’s true. Finding the strength in ourselves first is how we come to feel stronger. It’s not out there, in someone or something else. It’s right here. All we’re really doing when we use affirmations is reminding ourselves of the strength that’s already right here.

The phrase namaste comes to mind when I think about finding strength in ourselves first. “The divine in me, recognizes the divine in you”. The “divine” is what we’re “recognizing” when we decide to reinforce the search for the strength in ourselves. We do this by focusing on the positive in us by using affirmations to help us reinforce how we want to feel, confident. It’s already right here, we just have to recognize that it’s here.

And Remember, Be Kind To Yourself

Using affirmations can be a good foundation to find the personal strength you need to build healthy self image. Or as it was in my case, rebuild the basics of healthy relationships with others. Also building a healthy self-image and how I care for myself. It takes work and it can be tough at times. But learning to use the tools of positive self-talk has the ability to strengthen every other aspect of our lives. From who we choose to surround ourselves with, to where we feel we deserve to live or work. And also how we care for ourselves. If you haven’t thought about it, or are on the fence about them, it may be worth your time to explore them some. Because the nature of your thoughts holds the power to shape your world. Thanks for reading, peace :]

Image Credits: “Ben Eine – The Strangest Week : Smiley Faces / Acid House Faces – Hackney Road / Diss Street, London E2” by bobaliciouslondon is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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