Saturday, August 18, 2018

The Words I Needed

I used to think that affirmations were sort of silly.  The whole standing in front of the mirror, repeating positive "You can do it!" sort of messages to yourself.

I mean, I grew up on the mockery of Stuart Smalley.

But maybe I was wrong.

The other night, my mind just wouldn't shut up. You've had those nights, haven't you? I'd read something online that had made me feel criticized for a super hard and personal decision I'd come to, and my mind immediately jumped into hyper-defensive overdrive.

Of course I'd read it approximately 90 seconds before heading to bed, which meant that I was lying there, trying to go to sleep, my heart racing and my head composing everything I "needed" to say. Every defense, every reason, every everything -- all the while, interjecting every so often, "OMG, stop thinking. You have to go to sleep!!" which didn't stop the overthinking at all, just added to the cacophony of noise in my mind.

I have so many people in my head sometimes. Stern but Sensible Me suddenly spoke up with authority. "Listen. You do not have to choose for anyone but you."

"But--!!!"

"No, you're not hearing me. No defending is needed. No excuses are needed. No one has to agree. This is for you. You do not have to choose for anyone but you."

And as that sunk in with all the other voices in my head, I could physically feel the anxiety leave my body. My mind quieted.  Not all it once... it took a few more repeatings as the stubborn ones tried to pick up the fight again. But over a few minutes, it worked.  I slept in peace.

So, maybe a few affirmations in your back pocket aren't the dumbest thing ever.


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