A key soulwork practice, especially if we want to:
- shift our thinking;
- heal our bodies;
- reframe a challenge; or
- nourish our spirit;
is using denials and affirmations.
Clear and Establish
Denials clear and affirmations establish. Some holistic practitioners believe that certain personalities need denials more, perhaps if they are meek and intimidated, while others need affirmations more, perhaps to remain centered and confident. Yet, even if we favor one more than the other, using them together grounds us most fully in Absolute, Spiritual Truth.
Accept Absolute Truth
To receive the full blessing of a denial and affirmation practice, we must know that Spiritual Truth never changes. It is Universal and Absolute. However, because we can change and grow in spiritual maturity, our understanding of Truth can change.
In addition, we must remember that our denial and affirmation practice does nothing to change God. God does not change. God is the every-abiding presence, source, substance, and sustenance of everything in our lives and in the Universe. So, our focus is on changing ourselves and our beliefs, habits, and attitudes, as appropriate, and aligning ourselves with God.
Denials clear by erasing and/or dissolving the power we have given something or someone over us. They are statements of release which help us eliminate and renounce old ideas and beliefs so we can make way for new, divine ideas to flow.
When we deny something, we do not deny facts, feelings or emotions. We deny that those facts, feelings, or emotions have power over us. Neither are we “in denial” that challenging events occur. Rather, we use denial (clearing) statements to remind us that no matter what is happening around us or to us, we are always free to choose our response to that experience.
As H. Emilie Cady teaches: “Denial is the first practical step toward wiping out of our minds the mistaken beliefs of a lifetime — the beliefs that have made such sad havoc in our lives. By denial we mean declaring not to be true a thing that seems [italics added] true.” 1
If we’re working through pain from the past, or healing from a trauma or loss, gentle denials (along with any recommended mental health care or therapy) can help us free ourselves.
Place your hands over your heart, belly, or any place in your body which needs comfort and say something like: “This may have happened to me, but it does not have the power to determine my future.” Or speak directly to the person or situation and say: [Name of Person] / [Situation], you have no power over me. I release you to the Universe and I let you go.”
Forgive Ourselves and Others
When we are willing to forgive, denials help unlock us from the person or event, freeing us to heal and move ahead. They remind us that we need not stay stuck because of what happened.
Again, we are not denying that the event happened or that another person’s behavior deeply hurt us. Rather, we are denying them any power to determine how we feel now and might feel in the future.
When we forgive ourselves, we can remember that we made the best choices we could at the time. When we forgive others, we are not condoning their behavior or actions. We are freeing ourselves to be healed and to live as is best for us now.
Gentle clearing prevents us from condemning ourselves or others for something we or they did not know, or for using a strategy that once served our well-being, but no longer does. As we remain open to change, we discover that we know more now. So, denials help us continually clear anything outmoded for our current thinking.
Additionally, denials are not for berating ourselves or others for choices we or they “should” or “should not” have made. Rather, we can gently deny our former approach like this:
“Believing that I will never find a fun, inspiring job does not support me or help me create a life I love. I now deny that a temporary matter like unemployment has power over all my thoughts, feelings and beliefs. I willingly release these beliefs now.”
Feel the Feelings
Also, in this process, we remember to feel our feelings. We do not deny that we have the feelings nor do we judge them. We use them as a barometer to understand ourselves and gain greater self-awareness and perspective.
As much as possible, allow time each day for prayer, contemplation, self-reflection, and silence. Whether we sit on our favorite meditation cushion or walk around our neighborhood, this sacred time is a gift we give ourselves and is powerful for helping us tune into our feelings. Then, our realization of our feelings can guide us in making necessary changes gently; remind us of what we value and love most; develop our imagination and insights; and nurture our inner strength and courage.
Honor the Feelings
As feelings arise, we can notice them without having to do anything about them. We can view them as they are, an aspect of us which is expressing itself. We can choose to breathe into the feeling and/or we can “tell” the feeling that we will get back to it later.
The key is allowing the feelings to guide us. So, if we “tell” a feeling we will revisit it, we can do that through our other soulwork, for example, by journaling, sharing in sacred conversation, or attending a counseling session. Ignoring and continually pushing our feelings away just makes them return more intensely.
The denial process can be painful. Yet, when we know that God is with us, within us, and all around us, we have faith and trust in our ability to move through whatever we are denying into clarity, relief, and peace of mind.
Affirmations are statements of Absolute, Universal Truth which help us establish new thoughts, ideas, and beliefs in our minds. They describe us and our abilities. And we can feel them at the depth of our being because they are the Truth which cannot be swayed by outer circumstances. As H. Emilie Cady teaches, “To affirm anything is to assert positively that it is so, even in the face of all contrary evidence.”2
But affirmations do not manipulate God or others. And they will not force something to happen, like trying to make someone love us. Rather, affirmations help us develop optimal thoughts and behaviors and better understand our feelings, desires, and choices so we can live on purpose.
Be Centered in Faith
Affirmations work because they keep us centered in faith. H. Emilie Cady says that when we declare our affirmations with faith,3 we trust that Spiritual Law and Divine Outcome are being fulfilled. Therefore, whatever we affirm, we connect to faith in God and Absolute Truth. And, because our faith always works as we direct it, our faith helps us demonstrate more fulfilling experiences.
For example, when we affirm that we are prosperous beyond measure, we have faith in God as the Source of all we need in our lives. That is an Absolute. In comparison, when we affirm that we have a specific sum of money, that is relative, based on what we may earn, invest, and spend. So, we declare both our faith in God and in ourselves by affirming what is ours to do and trusting our divine connection with God.
Speak the Words
“Your word is your wand,” says Florence Scovel Shinn.4 And we choose how to wave our wand. So, we always want to affirm what we truly desire, choosing words which inspire and motivate us.
Also, we declare our words in the present tense, now, not for some future time. For example, rather than saying, “I will feel happy when I meet my true love,” we can say, “I enjoy meeting new people and developing caring, loving, supportive relationships.”
In addition, we speak using “I am” statements. When we say, “I am,” we claim our divinity, the “I Am That I Am,” which is God. Saying “I am” declares the Absolute Truth that we are God’s Beloved.
Furthermore, whatever we affirm with “I am” must be spoken positively now, no matter the past. Remember that our subconscious mind cannot distinguish between positive and negative; it just affirms what we speak. So, instead of saying something like, “I am a complete mess, down in the gutter,” we say, “I am a divine child of God, strong in Spirit, and I am transforming my life one step at a time.”
Whatever we affirm, we also want to believe. One way to check whether we believe an affirmation is to say it aloud, to ourselves. If it feels enlivening and energizing within our bodies, stated in the present tense, it likely resonates for us. But, if we hesitate or doubt, we probably need to restate our affirmation to something we believe and feel.
For example, if we are paying off debt, we can affirm that we live in an abundant universe which supplies all our daily needs for abundance and happiness. It is more challenging to affirm that we have a million dollars to live on for the rest of our lives, because it is not yet an Absolute for us.
Yet, because we use affirmations to transform our lives (not magically erase our troubles), some of them can include a fake-it-‘til-you-make-it element. But they must include believable, doable action we can take now and adapt in the future.
For example, we might affirm: “I am healed and healthy. I enjoy exercising four days a week and savoring delicious, nutritious meals. I am getting better and better day by day.” Then we are committed to our physical well-being.
Get Grounded in Truth
Affirmations ground us in Truth as we gently and consistently declare our choices. But if we hesitate in our declaration, we can return to a denial, and deny what is past and its power over us. The denial realigns us, so we can establish our affirmation in Truth with ease and confidence.
For example, someone seeking new employment might say:
“I now affirm my perfect employment, where I share my divine gifts for designing and decorating. My way is open and clear to use my talents to prosper, expand, and enrich my life and the lives of all my clients. I am a radiant expression of God, and I now proceed with complete assurance, allowing Divine Wisdom to lead the way!”
Notice in that affirmation, the speaker declares their Truth, but is not focusing on previous jobs. Neither are they giving God directions about which design firm is best for them or fixating on a specific salary. The affirmation gives the speaker clarity about their desires and leaves room for Holy Spirit do its wondrous work.
Flow with Thanksgiving
Affirmations and denials work together as we recognize the power within us to remove self-imposed obstacles and clear paths for transformation and fulfillment. The best part about affirmations is knowing that every step we take beyond our old thinking is affirmative, encouraging us to keep moving forward.
So, in concluding our practice, we pray with thanksgiving and release our prayer. Then we go ahead, doing whatever is necessary for our daily routine and personal schedule, as we continue to witness the Truth revealed to us and through us.
Also, as we remain in the flow of life, thanksgiving becomes part of our daily routine. We are grateful for what we did today and feel at peace knowing that more is unfolding tomorrow. And, as we let life flow, we appreciate the infinite blessings and wonder all around us.
1 Cady, H. Emilie, Lessons in Truth, Centennial Edition. Unity Village, Mo: Unity House, 2003, p. 42.
2 Cady, 2003, p. 51.
3 Cady, 2003, p. 52.
4 Shinn, Florence Scovel, The Magic Path of Intuition. Carlsbad, Calif.: Hay House, 2013, p. 22.
© 2022 – Rev. Jennifer L. Sacks – All rights reserved.