Love Thyself!

Most of us have either seen or heard about Jessica’s Daily Affirmations, the video clip gone viral of a little girl affirming to herself in the mirror that she likes everything and she can do “anything good.” If you haven’t seen it, it is almost guaranteed to put a smile on your face and perhaps even create a little nostalgia or longing to have such a positive outlook. Here is a link – Jessica’s Daily Affirmation

We are all born with infinite possibilities. It seems there are a lucky few who actually retain that inner knowledge to adulthood. Most of us start losing sight of how great and wonderful we truly are with each successive “no” and “you can’t do that” that we hear growing up. Eventually we may have children of our own and if we haven’t regained that inner love or understanding, we tend to perpetuate the same cycle because it is what we know. We may even continue to tell ourselves, “no, I can’t.”

I regret that I didn’t remember the joy of my inner child’s unlimited spirit when I was raising my own children. At 19 and 15 years old now, I can only offer my apologies for the times I said, “no, you can’t” out of reflex when I really should have just listened and been supportive. I’m sorry Nikole. I’m sorry Michael. The truth really is that you can do anything good, or even better.

The miraculous part is that we can overcome the layers of negativity that may have grown and developed into our psyches over the years. It’s a journey to self-love that has no map as we each are on a different path, but is so worth the effort to travel. I think a good starting point is a daily affirmation like Jessica’s.

Here’s mine for today: I love my world! I love the gray skies this morning! I love my necklace! I love my gray hairs! I love my wrinkles! I can do anything! I love everything! I love my life! I love myself!  🙂

What do you love? Can you yell it out in front of the mirror? Maybe even kick it back with some dance moves? It’s gotta be a happier way to start the day than focusing on what you don’t like, right?

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Margaret
    Oct 23, 2010 @ 13:37:03

    Well, my friend, science says you should give yourself a pass in this case. It turns out that temperament is inborn (genetic, they call it “winning the cortical lottery” if someone happens to have a predisposition to optimism.) Affirmations are utterly ineffective in changing the predetermined bias.

    There are three things that have shown some promise: drugs, meditation or cognitive therapy. (Source: The Happiness Hypothesis, interesting book, I think you might enjoy it.)

    And the Millennials, the generation now in their twenties is called the “trophy” generation, since they were all winners always and all got a trophy since the adults never kept score, were given unending positive affirmations, have the highest rates of depression and addiction of any generation in history.

    So, I think you did well to avoid that.

    Reply

    • elizabethsaidso
      Oct 24, 2010 @ 09:35:29

      My post was certainly very generic and as such, open to misinterpretation. My intention was not to encourage false affirmations. I would never advocate lying to anyone about their true abilities, though one outcome of this has provided much entertainment to those who watch American Idol auditions. 😉 Being supportive but honest in affirming a child’s dreams or ideas is what I am advocating, not insincere praises just because the kid is from your gene pool. My mom’s generation essentially had 3 general career choices – Secretary, Nurse, and Teacher. Obviously, some women were told different truths, and they became doctors, lawyers, and scientists. This is the point I was amateurishly trying to make. 🙂 If you are limited in your choices of what you can become, then you may limit yourself in other areas as well.

      I’m so in agreement with you about sports games where no one loses. I listened to a program a while back – I think it was Ron Alsop talking about one of his books (The Trophy Kids Grow Up) and all I can say is…wow. I’m very much in favor of teaching kids that sometimes they will lose, that they have personal responsibility for their own actions, and that they will one day be totally independent from us as their parents and will be making – and living with – their own decisions.

      I also want to note that there is a difference between self-love and self-adoration. Self-love is healthy but has gotten confused with narcissism. My definition of self-love means being kind to yourself, treating yourself with respect, and looking out for your best interests – the same things you might would do for your friend, lover, or family member.

      Perhaps positive self-affirmations are not the best starting point – that is certainly a subjective statement, but they have been helpful for me. I do believe it is possible for most people to change their negative responses to situations, to change a poor outlook, and to create a happier mental status. I actually have The Happiness Hypothesis as an Audible book, and yes, it is an interesting read (or listen). I’ve also recently listened to Authentic Happiness : Using the New Positive Psychology to Realize Your Potential for Lasting Fulfillment by Martin Seligman, and highly, highly recommend it. It is true that you cannot change your genetics and that they do play a part, but there are other facets that can be changed – namely circumstances and voluntary activity.

      Please know that I am not referring to those who have clinical depression and chemical imbalances. These observations are not geared to the very real and sometimes devastating illnesses that cognitive therapies and other non-pharmaceutical modalities are unable to alleviate.

      Is that a better explanation? 🙂

      Reply

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