We, as individuals, are daily in a state of being with others, our higher power (some of us), and ourselves. How much of that time do we spend fully affirming ourselves rather than running from ourselves, taking on what others want us to be (or not be), and taking on others’ “stuff” (e.g. biases and negative attitudes about matters important to us)? Truth be told, we have enough of our own “stuff” to focus on rather than taking on and focusing on others’ “stuff.” The more we try to escape us, the more raggedy our “stuff” becomes, endangering our healthy existence.
Essential for a healthy existence is developing an understanding of who one truly is. To affirm self means to confirm and positively assert self. Affirming self, understand, is vastly different from tolerating self, just as being affirmed is not synonymous with being tolerated. Learning to affirm what innately makes us unique enables us to live authentically and also affirm others as the unique individuals they choose to be. Learning to fully affirm oneself guides how we identify and learning to affirm others is vital to the process of self-affirmation and building healthy and happy relationships. But how does self-affirmation begin?
Your self is the core of your being – that small, sacred space within you that houses your spirit and your soul. Self-affirmation starts with establishing a relationship with…well…self. This means spending time alone (yes, alone) with oneself to discover your thoughts, feelings, interests, needs, and desires – not what you were taught or what others think you “should” believe, but the components that make you uniquely you and dictate how and what makes your spirit and soul thrive. Establishing a relationship with self, however, means that we not only recognize positive attributes, but also those that are less favorable, or the features of ourselves that we often deny, hide, or ignore because they are too painful to face. In other words, we must get honest and real with ourselves.
The first step to living authentically with others is living authentically with self. By recognizing and facing what is painful (e.g. shame, guilt, sadness, anger, or the plethora of other feelings that arise out of woundedness), healing becomes possible and (with a genuine willingness) probable. After all, we can only heal what we reveal. If our spirit and soul (housed in the core of self) is wounded, chances are likely that, unless healed, this woundedness radiates throughout the self and causes us to perceive, act, and think from a wounded place rather than an authentic balanced, healthy place. In essence, when wounded we do not “confirm and positively assert ourselves.” When we do not affirm ourselves, we allow others to not affirm us and we do not affirm others. To heal, we must accept our challenges with our strengths and our triumphs with our defeats that occur in our lives because of our choices and, in some instances, our abilities. Sounds easier said than done? Well, I never said it was easy, but it is doable. We must feel positive about ourselves, confirm ourselves, and affirm ourselves. So, stop running from self. Aren’t you tired? Instead, walk INTO self at the cadence of your soul and spirit. With self-investigation, self-revelation, and self-affirmation comes authenticity and wholeness. A whole self is a healthy self and a healthy self is a loving self…loving of self, others, and life! After all, we’re worthy and we’re worth it!