Are Affirmations Truly Powerful?

In Unity, we practice affirmative prayer and encourage the use of positive affirmations as a strategy for spiritual growth. Along with silent mediation, affirmative prayer is at the heart of Unity Principle #4. Still, many people new to Unity demonstrate resistance or skepticism to affirmations. They may doubt that the use of short, positive statements are an effective and powerful means to healing, renewal and spiritual expansion. Are affirmations truly powerful? The short answer is, absolutely! However, the deeper truth is that we use affirmations every day, all day anyway. Every word we speak is an affirmation. The variable is: what reality are we affirming with our words?

The Two Most Powerful Words In The English Language

All words have power, either positive or negative. Every word we speak is an affirmation of one thing or another that we believe and hold to be true. When we speak, the words we choose express the thoughts and feelings we hold in consciousness. The central idea in Unity Principle #3 is that we create our reality through the thoughts and feelings we allow to predominate in our consciousness.  The thoughts and feelings we hold in consciousness precede and motivate our spoken word. Our spoken word expresses what we are holding in consciousness. Whether we consciously realize it or not, every word we speak expressly demonstrates what we believe about virtually everything, especially what we believe about ourselves.

“I am” are the two most powerful words we speak. Whatever follows “I am” affirms the reality we believe and determines our experience in the present moment. “I am” is very different than, “I was” or “I will be.” When we say, “I am,” we are saying “yes” to every word that follows. If we say to ourselves, “I am creatively blocked,” then we affirm a lack of available creative energy and we react accordingly. Conversely, if we say, “I am a vital conduit for limitless creative energy,” we will respond in alignment with that truth. One way or another, we constantly affirm our reality through every word we express, especially those that follow “I am.”.

Words Don’t Have Power, They Are Power

When we speak, we are expressing what we believe about our creative power. We then direct our vital life energy accordingly. In The Twelve Powers, Charles Fillmore locates the “power of power” in our throat area. Associated with the spoken word, the throat is the seat of our creative power for communication and expression. Words affirm every belief we hold in consciousness and reflect our perspective about life itself. Like spiritual principle, words can work in the positive or the negative. This is why in The Four Agreements Don Miguel Ruiz advises us to “be impeccable with our word.” This Toltec wisdom resonates with the divine idea at the foundation of Unity Principle #3.

Say the following words out loud to yourself: “My life is just one bad thing after another. I can’t get a break. I never have enough time, money or opportunity. I never win.” How do you feel after saying those words aloud? Did you experience a downward energy shift just by saying these words? If you don’t believe any of those statements about yourself, maybe you didn’t experience a downbeat in energy. But, you may have other similar statements that you do use in your life that do depress your energy.

If you do, know that each time you say them, you affirm a reality for yourself that is not in alignment with the spiritual truth of your being. Unity Principle #2 states that you are a divine child of God, created in the image and likeness of God. Therefore, you are infused with all the potential creative energy available to God. We will either believe this spiritual truth for ourselves or not. We may desire to believe it, but doubt that it is really true for us. The words we choose express what we believe every time we speak. What reality are you affirming for yourself with your word?

Shift Your Perspective, Seize Your Power

When we correctly understand the power of affirmations, we pay closer attention to every word we speak. As we shift our perspective, we also become more aware of the thoughts and feelings swirling about in our consciousness. Ask yourself, what is your current relationship to your own thoughts and feelings? The silent inner world of your thoughts and feelings precedes your spoken word. How do you feel about the energetic quality of the thoughts and feelings dominating in your active consciousness?

In order to harness our creative power, we will all ask similar questions of ourselves at one-time or another. As we assume responsibility for our power, we begin to examine and release any negative chatter and old programming that have sabotaged our success in the past. We begin to change the language of our self-talk first. Correctly speaking our affirmations becomes an integral part of our self-care. With correctly stated affirmations, we begin to show ourselves compassion and begin to grow our creative power. Being kind to ourselves, we speak only the truth about our true nature as a creatively powerful, spiritual being.

We have all known people who have told a lie so much that the lie has become their truth. Affirmations framed as statements of truth, shift us away from the illusions we have believed. Affirming this power as ours, we can then join with Charles Fillmore, who at age 92 spoke the following: “I fairly sizzle with zeal and enthusiasm and spring forth with a mighty faith to do the things that are to be done by me today!” That is a powerful, present moment affirmation underscoring Fillmore’s belief that he was still yet a vital child of God. Even as he approached the end of his life, his faith was still firing his imagination and stoking his enthusiasm for the creative potential each day brings. We should all be so blessed, so fortunate in our own lives.

Affirmations Are Awareness

Affirmations, whether positively or negatively framed, reflect our present moment awareness of the activity of our consciousness. You might say, our affirmations are awareness. In his writings, Emmet Fox spoke of the “Golden Key,” which is the simple idea that when we focus on ideas of lack, difficulty or worry, we are not focusing on God. We are not focusing on the true nature of our being and the true source of our power.

In any situation, affirmations reflect the degree and clarity of our focus on God, or truth principles. Affirmations, whether spoken aloud or silently, are a form of praying without ceasing. As we learn to consciously and correctly speak our affirmations, we become more attuned to the omnipresence of Spirit in each moment. This equates to actively practicing the truth of Unity Principle #1, which says: “There is only One Power, One Presence in the Universe and in our lives.” We either believe in that “One Power, One Presence” and its availability to us, or we don’t. However, when we do, we begin to know from our own experience that affirmations truly are powerful.

Harmony In God’s Symphony

Expressing our creative power through rightly stated affirmations is the key to cultivating a moment-by-moment awareness. Being present in the moment to our thoughts, feelings and words is how we assert dominion and mastery over our formerly wild, untamed consciousness. Positively-framed affirmations harmonize our thoughts and feelings with our words in the moment. In harmony, we are then open to aligning ourselves with the true nature of our being and assuming responsibility for our creative power.

My friends will tell you that I am not a musician, but I do know that to be in harmony involves my individual expression becoming a synchronized part of the collective expression. In this way, our affirmations are an expression of the part we are playing in God’s symphony. We will play the melody, the harmony or the dissonance. We may play the silence between the notes. Whichever part we play, we actively reveal ourselves through the words we affirmative express. Which part are you playing? Would you like to play a different part? Would you like to get better at harmonizing the part you are playing? Whatever you answer to yourself, the power of your own affirmations will reveal to the world.