In this blog, we will expand on the material in Redemption from Biblical Battering. One of the tools that rebuild strength in the woman who has been attacked by an abuser is the ability to mentally develop and rehearse denials and affirmations.
Using the power of your words to create your experiences can be very satisfying and stress relieving. More than just positive thinking, denials and affirmations are a dynamic duo in managing our perceptions and feelings toward achieving satisfaction in relationships, work and other areas. They are based on the truth that the universe is supporting us and that love prevails in assuring us our good because this is the Divine Will for our lives. They create what Jesus called “the Kingdom of God within you”. If we think about what would the evidence be that Good prevailed, that is what Jesus meant. Harmonious relationships, happiness, fulfillment, peace, love, wisdom, kindness. We can create these through the power of our heart-mind-words.
Basically as I have practiced this technique, which has a long history in truth studies around the world, the dynamic involves creating space and affirming deeply. Some of the wisdom that supports this practice includes the idea of mind, idea and expression as the creative formula for our world; as in heaven, so below; living in faith; or practicing the presence of God. It is not wishful thinking or a Pollyanna approach; It is not self-hypnosis because you cannot convince yourself against your will. It is based on the concept that we participate in creating our good by using our power of being made in the image of God, who made the world through the Word. They emerge from an integration of mind and heart that is life producing.
Denials and affirmations work hand in hand. Denials create space or release negativity so that a more positive experience can present itself. Then affirmations build improved conditions for living, whether materially, emotionally, mentally or in other areas.
But before I create or decide upon the wording of a denial or affirmation, I have found it important to do some depth work to identify as closely as I can what is really desired. I say this because I have had the experience of receiving what I had affirmed and then realized I was not specific or accurate enough in what I had affirmed! This is not to say that it was a negative effect; just that I saw what I had missed emphasizing that would have been even better. Good, better, best. But that is fine. I learned and did not lose out, a good growth process.
Or be prepared to find out that the results you desired showed up but in ways you hadn’t anticipated. For example, I may have been affirming that the sale process proceeds in Divine Order after my bid on a house is accepted. However the realtor creates so many problems that I never buy the house. So the sale did proceed in Divine Order. I was not supposed to buy that house. I find out later that it had many problems that I would not have been able to afford. So the difficulties that arose were not obstacles, but the process working out as it was supposed to. Continue to affirm, even when it does not appear to be working. You will either learn how to modify the affirmation or denial to be more accurate or see the good in new ways. Repeat it daily and then go about your business, not giving it any more thought. Proceed with the assurance that it is coming to be.
So the depth work, either through journaling, counseling, talking, or other processing, helps me identify the core concern or issue I am dealing with because I don’t always know. Someone once asked if it was the problem or the feelings I had about the problem that was troubling. I thought this was an astute observation, similar to the idea of wanting money or wanting what you think money will provide. Money (tangible) is desired for what people think it will secure (intangible, such as security, fun, power, freedom, etc.).
In addition to accurate identification of the concern or issue, it is important to include the feeling desired and to associate an image with the desired outcome. Imagination plays an important role in creating denials and affirmations. In fact, it seems what is in most need of healing or fulfillment is exactly what denials and affirmations work most effectively to create. In other words the things that disturb us are usually signals from our shadow selves, some area we are not in touch with and which need resolution. Denials and affirmations are powerful tools for resolving these issues because they help us experience what filling the need feels like.
We can examine this sample denial first. Let’s say that there is a particularly difficult coworker I am dealing with. After journaling about the recurring problems, I discover that the real issue that is disturbing my peace in interacting with this person is his apparent need to one- up me in every meeting. But the deeper realization is that this goes back to one of my trigger issues from when I was growing up of feeling “less than”. It is a core issue for me.
I create a denial that says “No attempt to reduce my worth is effective.”
In the next post, we will explore Part II of this skill that rebuilds self-worth and confidence.