Our thoughts create our world. The chatter in our heads is constant but we’ve become accustomed to and oblivious to it. If we don’t know what we are thinking we can be hijacked by the default station of our radio-mind. We get to choose our thoughts if or when we know what we are thinking!
We need to start paying attention to the voices in our head; become aware of our thinking. After observing our thoughts without judgment for a while we become aware in the moment. Awareness is the next step in the process of change.
Jesse realized that most of her interactions with Clara, her mother, made her feel guilty and angry. Her mother had a negative opinion about everything Jesse did and didn’t keep her opinions to herself. Even though Jesse was an adult, she desperately wanted her mother’s approval and love and blamed Clara for her own unhappy life. She reasoned that if her mother were different she could be happy.
Jesse didn’t realize how much time she spent playing this scenario in her head until she started Observing with her non-judgmental mind. With her new awareness of her own blame voice and how it controlled her, she recognized that she was giving her power away. She needed to break free—not of her mother—but of her thoughts.
The Serenity Prayer gives us a formula we can use in situations like Jesse’s: God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
Jesse can’t change her mother no matter how hard she tries. While trying she is robbing herself of the opportunity to change what she can. She can change a couple of things: her thoughts, when she becomes aware of them, and the only physiological process she has control over: her breathing. By changing the station playing in her mind she can tune into constructive thoughts and transform her self-defeating behavior.
Using positive thoughts sets us in the direction we want to go. Here are some affirmations to start us off:
The path I choose is the right path for me
I learn lessons from everything I do
Conscious breathing brings me clarity and serenity.
I am willing and able to change old ideas and dysfunctional patterns
My mind is open to new possibilities every day
In any given situation there are options that never occurred to me before
I am in charge of my life
No one can make me feel inferior without my consent (Eleanor Roosevelt)
My choices are limitless; the power to choose is mine
I take responsibility for my choices
I act in ways to empower myself
Our thoughts create our world. How have you used affirmations to break free of old patterns?