Monday, April 6, 2009

Receiving What We Seek

As the self~imposed deadline for my last essay approached, I was confronted by an unusual phenomenon. I was totally without ideas. Usually, raw material for an article has been rumbling around for days before I sit down to write. I may have only an inkling of a theme, but I usually arrive at the keyboard with something. But not this time.

I found myself telling a friend that I had nothing to say. I joked that inspiration better strike soon or I’d be in trouble.

Then I stopped. I mentally replayed the words that had just left my mouth. The statement “I have nothing to say” expressed as permanent what was truly only a temporary lull. And joking about being “in trouble” could only nurture the anxiety that had already taken root. Such sentiments certainly weren't going to stimulate my creativity!

Even more importantly, though, these casual comments provided a window into the unconscious mindset I still carry with me. What I consciously believe is that we are surrounded and imbued with an unending fund of creative energy. I find that what needs doing in my life gets done most effectively without inordinate struggle. And I recognize worry as a toxic emotion that depletes my spirit.

But my words suggested a different internal reality, didn’t they? Old patterns were with me still.

I knew my energy would be better spent fostering a worldview that encouraged success. I am not a passive recipient, as the phrase “inspiration better strike soon” implies. There was much I could do. So, I reminded myself of my beliefs and crafted a statement to reflect them.

“I open to the boundless creative force that is always present, ever available.”

And I sat, receptive and still. Letting go of attempts to force anything, I allowed thoughts to rise up on their own instead. After a minute or two of emptiness, ideas began to stir and soon moved one to another. I found myself watching for avenues that beckoned.

And there, in that metaphor, I encountered the theme that grew into the finished piece (see Avenues That Beckon).

Making conscious the many beliefs we unconsciously affirm is a powerful method for assessing the current state of our spirituality and making modifications that better serve us. When I said “I have nothing to say”, I affirmed lack. When I instead acknowledged the presence of inspiration and chose to open to it, I affirmed abundance. And in affirming abundance, I received what I sought~~just as I had when I affirmed lack.

This is only a small and relatively insignificant example of this phenomenon. Think of the effect of any of the following statements, some of which you may have verbalized yourself:

Life sucks. 
I’m stupid. 
It’s hopeless. 
I’m all alone. 
I don’t have enough __________.
I hate myself. 
I’m trapped. 
Nobody cares.

As a psychotherapist, I recognize the importance of speaking what feels true, and of telling our experiences of personal wounding and loss. Authentic healing oftentimes comes through engaging in just such a process. However, we also are called to turn the full force of our creative powers toward developing an outlook that brings us a rich and vibrant experience of living, today and always. Affirmations can be a powerful tool to this end.

In a future essay, I will explore this theme in more detail. Until then, it might be useful to notice your own life-defining thoughts, particularly the negative ones that permeate the crevasses of your soul like chill fog.


Loanne Marie

For more on crafting affirmations, see Aiming Our Awareness.

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