Two powerful words...
Has anybody said something to you in your life that has really changed the direction of your life? Has that ever happened to you? I’m sure it has. I’m sure that when somebody that you cared for and respected in your life said “I love you,” that changed your life for the better. On the other hand, if somebody who you trusted ended up betraying you by saying hurtful things or, worse yet, stabbing you in the back by saying negative things about you, that can put your life in a tailspin as well.
They can cut as much as they can heal. Of all the words that people can say to you that can have a tremendous life-changing impact, there are two words that you have to wrap your mind around. These two words can help you change your life for the better. In fact, the impact of these two words is so powerful that they can continue to have reverberations or a cascading effect throughout the rest of your life. You just have to say these words very clearly, very intently, and very purposefully. If you’re able to do that, then these words will carry you through because they seek to reprogram your mind. Too many of us are walking around with invisible shackles or handcuffs. Nobody’s pointing a gun at our heads and saying, “Be miserable. Say to yourself that you can’t do certain things. Assume that you can’t do certain things. Act like a victim.” Nobody’s doing that. Nobody has that kind of power over you. You’re doing it to yourself. That’s what those invisible shackles are. These are assumptions that limit us and reduce us. We don’t live the kind of unlimited powerful life that we’re other waste capable of living. We all have this potential in us but the problem is it remains potential and, before we know it, we forget about it. Instead, we define ourselves based on our limitations. We say to ourselves, “I was born poor. My parents were abusive and were addicts or alcoholics and this is what I deserve. This is who I am. This is what I am capable of. I am behind hope.” Most people will not consciously say things this way. However, they’re doing it in their minds. You can see it in their actions. You can see it in how they live their lives. It’s as if they’re walking around in this invisible prison. They will never step over the lines delineating their comfort zone. Pretty sad, right? It’s very easy to dismiss those types of people but you’re doing it yourself. If you are in any way feeling stuck, weak, underappreciated, or somehow oppressed in any area of your life, this is what’s happening to you. So, do yourself a big favour and say the two most powerful words you ever say to yourself.
When you do that, you define yourself. More importantly, you take ownership of yourself. When you say “I am,” you are defining your life. So, be careful what words you choose to put after “I am.” If you say, “I am dumb. I am weak. I am a loser. I am poor. I am done,” then you just have condemned yourself. Nobody can say those words to you and make them produce reality except you. Take ownership of this power. Be conscious of this tremendous responsibility and choose a better reality for yourself and it all begins with the words after the two words “I am.” When you repeat those words “I am, I am, I am,” you say to the universe that you exist. You reclaim your voice. You are already there by being born. You were born with power. It doesn’t matter what you look like. It doesn’t matter how much money your parents have. It doesn’t matter what your physical abilities are. None of that matters because you have that tremendous potential locked within you yet to choose to live like an ant. That is the tragedy behind all of this. That’s why you need to reclaim your power by being more mindful about what you say after “I am.” If you need any more encouragement, then these words by Virginia Satir may inspire you.
Virginia Satir's Words
I am me.
In all the world, there is no one else exactly like me.
There are persons who have some parts like me, but no one adds up exactly like me. Therefore, everything that comes out of me is authentically mine because I alone chose it.
I own everything about me – my body, including everything it does; my mind, including all its thoughts and ideas; my eyes, including the images of all they behold; my feelings, whatever they may be – anger, joy, frustration, love, disappointment, excitement; my mouth, and all the words that come out of it, polite, sweet or rough, correct or incorrect; my voice, loud or soft; and all my actions, whether they be to others or to myself.
I own my fantasies, my dreams, my hopes, my fears.
I own all my triumphs and successes, all my failures and mistakes.
Because I own all of me, I can become intimately acquainted with me. By doing so I can love me and be friendly with me in all my parts. I can then make it possible for all of me to work in my best interests.
I know there are aspects about myself that puzzle me, and other aspects that I do not know. But as long as I am friendly and loving to myself, I can courageously and hopefully look for the solutions to the puzzles and for ways to find out more about me.
However, I look and sound, whatever I say and do, and whatever I think and feel at a given moment in time is me. This is authentic and represents where I am at that moment in time.
When I review later how I looked and sounded, what I said and did, and how I thought and felt, some parts may turn out to be unfitting. I can discard that which is unfitting, and keep that which proved fitting, and invent something for that which I discarded.
I can see, hear, feel, think, say, and do. I have the tools to survive, to be close to others, to be productive, and to make sense and order out of the world of people and things outside of me.
I own me, and therefore I can engineer me.
I am me and I am okay.
(Virginia Satir, Peoplemaking, 1972)