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.