In my previous blog, I talked about abundance messages found in food and how many of us experience guilt around what we eat or the food we buy. Given that it’s less than a week until Christmas, I feel like this is a timely message because many people also experience guilt around the holidays. Not meeting with family and friends during this time of COVID. What we do, or don’t, purchase for our loved ones. Even things like how much we did (or didn’t) decorate for the holidays leads to a lot of guilt. It’s almost as if it’s been baked into our consumerisitic cultural beliefs around this holiday season, much like an unwanted ingredient in a cake.
Affirmations have gotten a bad reputation, and in some cases this is deserved as people use them to practice toxic posivitiy and spiritual bypassing. However affirmations also have a very positive place in our lives, especially when we’re working on shifting our emotions from what we believe them to be, though factually incorrect, to something that works better for us.
A few things about affirmations. First, it has to be true. I can close my eyes and tell myself I’m making a million dollars in 2022. I can even hustle and try to it, but if I don’t have a realistic potental of doing so (And I don’t. Let’s be honest here.) Then I’ve damned myself to “fail” on that affirmation. Thinking something doesn’t make it magically true, otherwise I’ve have a trust fund set up to help friends, family members, and all of those who need it, and be throwing money at mutual aid requests on Twitter like some throw beads at Mardi Gras. So our affirmation has to be true or have a good likelihood of being true.
Second, we have to put in the inner work. Especially when we’re doing affirmations to shift emotions like guilt or shame. Saying one affirmation, then going on to continue a steady stream of thoughts that are the opposite of what you won’t, won’t make the affirmation true. It will simply reinforce those old thought patterns and beliefs you’re looking to shift.
How does this work? Pick ONE area in which you feel guilty. A common one might be, “I didn’t do enough for the holidays.” Now, define “enough”. Get out your trusty journal (or white board, or however you process your thoughts). Be honest. If enough means not buying a certain number of gifts or doing a specific number of parties or decorating your house like it’s going to win a neighborhood award–write that down. Look at it.
Once you know what the guilt is and where it’s coming from, craft your affirmation. I did my best, and I did enough for the holidays. I like to preface affirmations with I did the best I could. Or I did my best, because often our feelings are centered in failing somehow. And it’s always good to remind ourselves that we did not fail.
Anytime your mind starts to think about that guilt–STOP IT. Seriously. Cut off your internal monologue and immediately counter it with your affirmations.
Example: Oh, I should have gone to that work party, and my kids didn’t get to bake cookies for Santa–No. The truth is I did my best, and I did enough for the holidays.
Here are some of my favorite affirmations around guilt. Take the ones that you need. And share with me your favorite ones in the comments.
It’s safe for me to ask for help.
It’s safe for me to decline an invitation.
I am comfortable with my food choices today.
My food choices are no one’s business but mine.
I did my best.
I am doing the best I can.
It’s okay (or safe) for me to set boundaries.
Protecting my family is my right.
Choosing what comes into my home honors my boundaries and my family.
Not being able to afford fancy gifts doesn’t reflect badly on me personally.
My financial situation is not a moral failing.
This post discusses mental health and emotional wellness. Information in this post is not meant to constitute medical or psycological advice and is presented for education only. Please take what works for you. If you need the assistance of a licensed mental health counselor or other medical advice, know that I fully support your decision and encourage you to seek whatever help you need. I am not a licensed mental health practitioner and nothing I say here should be construed to be medical advice.