My mother was a big fan of selfhelp, although she never really did improve. She just liked to use such things to prove to herself that she already was perfect. Her selfimage was indeed very twisted. That’s one of the reasons why I’ve never been into such books (and, of course, my dad’s scepticism). Neither have I been that interested in affirmations, but a friend of mine made me try it out for some time.
I must admit; the idea of affirmations is something that I’ve been incredibly sceptical to. To me, it has felt like brainwashing, and I’m not really a fan of that. But – I’ve had periods in my life where I’ve been more open to it, and I actually tried recording some affirmations that I played on my cellphone while asleep.
The thing is, when being subject to narcissistic abuse, what we’re taught about ourselves is that we’re unworthy, that we have no place in the world, that we’re not deserving, et cetera, et cetera. These things bury themselves so deep it’s extremely difficult to find, and change them into something else. At least for me, they are buried underneath layers and layers of selfhatred, guilt, shame, contempt and so many other destructive patterns of thought and emotions.
How do we change that in an easier way?
While I admit to that large chunk of scepticism I inherited from my dad, I also do believe that sometimes we need to boost our brain when it is the most receptive. To allow these messages to penetrate all those thick layers of negativity and destruction.
Do I believe they actually made a difference in the long run? Oh, I’m not sure. But I can tell you that while listening to them, it did feel like honey for my brain. It’s quite soothing listening to your own voice telling you you’re worthy, you’re loved and all those things that the brain just refuses to believe while we’re awake.
Something that has made a difference, however, is something else. I completely forgot, while writing about my yoga practise, to tell you about the mantra I use. You use your breath while practising yoga, and on each breath in, I focus on a word I’d like to implement in myself and my life. I use four words during four breaths, and I put it on repeat.
Pride. Strength. Comfort. Beauty.
This actually has made a difference for me. Of course, much of it has to do with my yoga practise, and the physical benefits I’m getting from it. But it spreads through both body and mind, and I do feel different. I don’t know if it’d work if I “just” meditated on them. For me, I think the simultaneous movement is what makes the difference, but I’m not sure.
In general, I’m very sceptical to mantras or affirmations. I think this is something used by people who pretends it makes a difference (not always, but often). I don’t think it’s for everyone. I’m not sure it actually works – but it could. At least if you keep at it for longer periods of time. But then again, just like most mental and/or spiritual work, it takes a lot of energy even if it does good. It takes a toll on the mind to recieve these messages, and that’s why I quit after a while. And I didn’t go back to it either. Aside from what I do in yoga, of course.
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