This post is going to explore what I see as a strange contradiction: I believe in the power of affirmations and yet I LOATHE listening to them. That’s not quite accurate. I don’t loathe listening to them, but I have a really hard time listening to them. It puts my teeth on edge. I just really, really struggle with it.
And yet I believe they can be very powerful agents of change. So where the EFF is the disconnect?
The impetus for this post is my Hypnobabies Joyful Pregnancy Affirmations. It took me forever to download them onto my phone so I just started listening to them in the car this week (this is the ONE track you can listen to while driving). I tell you, the first listening sessions was painful. Truly. I had SUCH a hard time with it. The whole thing just felt so… steeped in hubris. Each affirmation felt more blasphemous than the last. I don’t know that my baby is happy and healthy and I certainly don’t know that he will arrive safely. To say those things to myself just seems like tempting fate. My jaw hurt after the first ride of listening to them.
Fortunately, it has gotten better. I’m trying to focus on the affirmations that are in my control, like how I feel, how I see things, what my expectations will be. Those affirmations feel productive to me. They are not flying in the face of what might be. They are not about (what feels to me like) tempting fate. So I focus on those and NOT on the ones that are so hard for me to handle. There reality is the vast majority are affirmations I can get behind and I’m actually enjoying the track now. Sure I don’t believe that I can say, My iron levels are high, and that it will be so (I know I’m anemic right now so I KNOW that isn’t true), and yet I can say a lot of other things, like I believe this baby will come when he’s ready and I am lovingly patient. That is something I CAN control and that I WANT to believe. So I say it happily and I think, after a week of saying it, it just might be true.
I do believe in the power of affirmations, in the power of thinking positively. As someone who is inherently NOT that positive–who may actually be a pessimist–I am not quite sure where this respect comes from, especially when I have such a hard time listening to them myself. And simultaneously, I don’t really understand why I have a hard time listening to them if I believe, in my head, that they can be such powerful tools. I ask again, where is the disconnect?
My guess is, it’s rooted in my anxiety. It’s rooted in the things I’ve seen, the losses I’ve lived. It’s rooted in all the babies I watched my mom bury. I think that deep down inside, I just can’t believe in something that I know is not true for all people. It wasn’t true for my own mother. FOUR TIMES it wasn’t true. And I just can’t ignore that and declare that it will be true for me.
Anyway, this post probably doesn’t make much sense. I’m having such a hard time lately stringing thoughts together coherently. My brain is seriously not working at even 50% capacity lately. I read posts and want to comment but no words come out and when they do they don’t make sense (seriously, they really don’t). My posts are starting to suffer too. I don’t know how much more writing I have in me before this baby comes. I just can’t keep my thoughts straight.
And with that I’ll end this monstrosity. And I’ll also ask you:
Do you believe in positive affirmations? Have you ever found any hard to swallow?