Jean Anne Costa
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Faith or Fear

Affirmation:  I let go of fear, anxiety and shame.
I recall the first time I heard the phrase; Faith or fear.  It was in a sermon at a church I was visiting.  It was one of those moments when I felt the light go on.  I knew exactly what he was talking about.  I had a choice.  How was I going to live my life?  Well, I decided right then and there, I was not going to have my life’s choices dictated by fear.  And, I have been deciding that every day, ever since.  I have had to make it a meditation.  Deciding was the easy part; making the choice, putting it into practice, well, that’s a whole other story.  I am a cancer survivor.  One of my physicians graciously told me that the cancer wasn’t anything I did or didn’t do; it was a “random act of violence.”  In one way, that gave me a lot of comfort.  I didn’t need to find blame either within or without but it meant that I was vulnerable to the whims of the world and with that thought, I found I felt unsafe.  It left me fearful.  I wondered what else was going on inside my body that I was totally unaware of?  And, I was afraid.  Once again, I was faced with finding a way to live with Faith and to let go of the fear.  That’s where my original affirmation about fear came from:  “I let go of fear, anxiety and shame.”  It’s evolved over the years.  I not only focus on the letting go of those emotions that don’t serve me; I now focus on strengthening my Faith.  I have several affirmations that I say to increase my sense of well-being; to make me believe that no matter what is happening, I am alright because my Faith is strong and helping me stay in a good place.

Negatives

When creating an affirmation avoid the word “not.”  Why?  It won’t work to your benefit; it may even work to your detriment.  There are some phrases you can use instead of enlisting the negative.  For example:  “I release” or “I let go of.”  Two of my affirmations using those phrases are:  “I let go of fear, anxiety and shame.” and “I release myself from my childhood limitations.”  I’m sure you can come up with some others.  Give it a try.  It’s simply more effective than saying: “I will not let fear, anxiety and shame influence my life.”  Can you hear the difference?  Can you feel the difference?  What are some things in your life you’d like to let go of, or release?  Make a list, choose one or two that seem the most relevant and give it a try.  Write them down, write them every day, post them on your bathroom mirror, by your doorway, on your computer and wait!  Wait for the conscious to create your desires in your unconscious and into your life.

Emotions

When creating an affirmation, it is helpful to use words that resonate deeply with you.  Try out some of the words; see if they cause a visceral reaction.  I sometimes write out the affirmation without too much thought and then take time to fine tune it.  Recently, I’ve been working on the concept of staying connected to the Divine.  I believe that we are spirit having a human experience and that with awareness and quiet, we can connect to God’s Divine Grace.  You can define that any way you like.  But, I believe it’s available to us and can lead us to a peace beyond that of human comprehension.  So, one of my affirmations is: “When I pray and meditate, I enter into union with the Divine; miracles are created and without struggle, manifest.  I love the words: Divine, miracles and without struggle.”  When I hear them, I think “hope.”  I have found that I now spend more time in prayer, more time in silence, Miracles?  Oh, yes, they have manifested.  Is it because I am paying more attention, waiting for them to appear or is it because they have multiplied because of my time spent with Spirit?  Do I really care why? Would you?

Definition

What exactly is an affirmation?  What does it look like?  How should it sound?  What phrases work, which ones don’t?  An affirmation is a statement that affirms, make firm, that which you believe.  You can have positive or negative affirmations.  Most of us have lived our lives telling ourselves about our faults.  We also rarely hesitate to tell others about our faults.  For example, someone may compliment your outfit.  What is your normal response?  Or perhaps, they tell you what a wonderful job you did on a project. What do you say when that happens?  Can you imagine saying something like: “Thank you, I did do a great job, didn’t I?”  Well, certainly you don’t have to say it out loud, but perhaps you could start saying it to yourself  and you don’t need to wait for someone to compliment you, you can begin saying it right now.  ” I really do a great job.”  For today, find one thing you want to feel good about and form a very short positive statement complimenting yourself.  Write it down anywhere you like and carry it with you.  Say it to yourself a few times each day and see what develops.  Remember, the first change takes place in the spirit, then in the mind and the last place to accept  the new reality, is the body.

Noticing

Today is your day to simply NOTICE.  To watch your self-talk and to make note of what you’re telling yourself.  It’s also helpful to notice your emotional state.  Sometimes, our emotions kick in and we’re not even aware of why.  What just happened that you reacted to and what are you saying to yourself at that moment?  What are you telling yourself when you’ve moved away from the situation?
Recently, I went for my first training session with a young man at my gym.  He seemed to be in quite a hurry.  He called me “sweetie” and at the end of a half hour, he indicated that we were done.  That was all I got for “free.”  He needed “to make a living.”  I didn’t expect the session to be free.  I actually thought I was buying an hour of time to fine-tune my workout.  When he walked away, I couldn’t tell you what I was feeling, but I knew what had just taken place didn’t feel good.  I waited a while and noticed it was my inclination to just let the whole episode go.  Why would I do that?  Because my self-talk over the years has been that I don’t like conflict.  I have also told myself that, I am not an assertive person.  Oh, yes, there have been many many incidents when I felt almost abused, but I didn’t fully recognize it at the moment and I didn’t feel empowered enough to stand up for myself.  One of my affirmations is: “I stand in my power.”  Another is:  “I am worthy, I am valuable, I am lovable.”  So, this time, I recognized that I had been badly treated and since I now tell myself that I am powerful and worthy, I went and spoke to him.  We resolved the issue which revolved around some mis-communication and he won’t be calling me “sweetie” any longer.