I found myself experiencing a lot of anger, seemingly out of nowhere recently.
I didn’t understand the sudden appearance of these fiery feelings and it felt like I had been storing up these feelings over the past few months.
My anger appeared to be directed at situations and outcomes that were really out of my control.
My anger also stemmed from the expectations I placed on myself to deliver, perform and achieve, when I hadn’t actually been asked to deliver any of those things!
So I sat in meditation and came up with this affirmation that I wrote on a post-it note and stuck to my wall:
“I let go of all expectations of myself and others.”
In order for this affirmation to work, I had to first release the stories I had told myself about the impact I expected to make on others. I had to allow the emotions I felt around previous expectations to be revealed, expressed and honoured before I could release them. Those emotions were hanging around unresolved and unacknowledged, getting tangled up in past events and circumstances I hadn’t faced until now.
I sat in a bath filled with Epsom salts, lavender and sandalwood essential oils and told my angry self (who, when asked, revealed she was about 17):
“I will stay with you for as long as you need until you are ready to release these feelings. It’s OK. I will never abandon you.”
I stopped feeling the urge to rage and began to breathe slowly and deeply again. I felt calmer and the muscles in my jaw and shoulders relaxed.
Working with affirmations has taught me the following:
The work we do with our own shadow is as important as the work we do with our light. They are one and the same and one cannot exist without the other.
To offer ourselves the nurturing and loving support we need, is one of the most powerful expressions of self-love we can practice. Sometimes we need to release a lot of baggage before we allow ourselves to receive love and appreciation, especially if that love and appreciation comes from our own voice.
The words we choose to speak to ourselves are as powerful as those we choose to speak to others.
We must take great care to observe how we choose to speak to ourselves. The power of affirmation sometimes highlights the gaps in our own emotional self-care routine. It highlights where we have been blocking ourselves and preventing, usually unconsciously, our own capacity for wholeness by first unearthing all the stored-up baggage so we can look at it (and by doing so, look at ourselves) and accept who we are as whole.
I have my back. I am here for myself, always.
You are loved, no matter what, with all the versions of light and dark that exist within the complex nature of what makes us who we are.