Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Frustration of Affirmations

I'm really new to actually using affirmations. It's easy to say some words in my head or out loud, even if I don't believe the words as I say them.

It's not simple to make myself keep saying them because I feel as though I'm lying to myself.

And I find this one of the most frustrating aspects of using affirmations, believing that eventually I'll believe the affirmation. Simply because the evidence in front of me does not yet support the affirmation and I'm yet to consciously notice the places where it is being supported. I can't or don't yet accept those places of support as real.

So affirmations (assumptions repeated consciously without any initial belief) mixed with distrust form the rational desire to say affirmations don't work.

That's my practical, rational, logical brain, turning affirmations into assumptions. Noticing the non-supporting evidence because I still want to believe what I currently believe, even as I work on believing something new.

I struggle against wanting to believe the real truth, I have love. I am loved. I am loving. I am lovable, because for so long I've believed the exact opposite, supposedly a lie, as the truth.

It is what I've always believed. Well always since I was 4 or 5 anyway.

Yet how rational is a 4 or 5 year old? What 4 year old uses rationality to form a belief?

A four year old believes what they are led to believe. And every since that age I've believed I am essentially unlovable. One of my molestors told me this. He also convinced me at 4, that if I ever told anyone else I felt that way, they would try to convince me otherwise. They wouldn't understand it and they would laugh at me for believing such nonsense. They wouldn't be capable of hearing me begging them to convince me I was loved and lovable.

And from that, I learned how to manipulate for the "love" I didn't truly believe I was worthy of having, yet wanted to desperately to deserve from the people. That's how the adult me, using the not so rational belief formed by the 4 year old me, to elicit love.

And as it turns out my molestor was right. I wasn't really heard. I wasn't ever truly listened to, because I had no ability to express what I really and truly needed. I needed to believe "I have love. I am loved. I am loving. I am lovable."

Sadly, he groomed me well. And while I continued to allow the belief he inoculated me with, I considered him the right one, the one with the truth.

And the use of the affirmation is meant to counter his lie to the four year old me, who has believed it for 35 years.  

He later found me and apologized for doing the things he'd done to me, as I sat in the Junior College cafeteria. He was there for less than 10 minutes. And less than a week later, I found myself in another state, playing out the pattern of manipulation I learned from him.

I obviously still believed him, after one actual sexual incident and years of emotional manipulation. Even now years after that apology, I'm find more time than I'd like that I still believe him. Which leads me back to my frustration of affirmations.

It's obvious to me in how I continue to manipulate my situations for the love I never really believe I'm going to get, instead of accepting, acknowledging and being grateful for the love I have and giving love to myself.

So back to how believing that I can believe the affirmation is so frustrating and still such a struggle.

I have love. I am loved. I am loving. I am lovable.

Yes this core belief I hold still tells me I can't believe the real truth of the matter. I have love. I am loved. I am loving. I am lovable.

And if when I stop believing the lie, I'll prove to myself that it was an irrational belief to begin with and will have wasted years of my life believing a lie, thus missing out on real love. So which is harder, continuing to believe the lie or working on believing the truth of the affirmation?

One is no harder than the other. They are both equally hard even though they sit at opposite ends. Because down the path of the lie is continued manipulation, eventual resignation and the desire to end it all I've been down that path a few times already. Each bend curves more sharply than the last.

I've never been down the path of truth, so I know there are unknown obstacles, heart ache, frustration and probably just as many sharp bends.

Yet this path has love, where the other only has manipulation and always disappointment.
I have love. I am loved. I am loving. I am lovable.

And I'll mourn, then grieve for the time I spent traveling down the path of the lie. Grief is grief and loss is loss. And thank heavens it hasn't ruined me or obscured the other path from my view, because then it really would be time to end it all.

And if you're feeling that way - as though it's that time and you see nothing, please, please, I beg you - make a phone call to someone you don't have to convince, someone who will listen judgement free.

Another path exists. Another path always exists, even when you don't believe. I haven't believed for a long time and yet, now I keep catching glimpses of the well hidden fork in the road.

I'm setting out and changing course, to explore this path now. And you've got to stick around so you get to see what you see there.

You have love. You are loved. You are loving. You are lovable.