“Two of the most powerful words; for what you put after them shapes your reality.”
When I was a child, I remember being intrigued by the story of Moses in the bible. His life was filled with adventure, scandal, and some pretty cool encounters with God. When God told Moses He would send him out to save His People, Moses asked, “well, who shall I say sent me”? And God replies, “I AM WHO I AM”. The fact that God described Himself in all caps, definitely stuck out to me, but even more so, I was so impressed that He did not need to add anything after I AM. He was whole and complete just as is. Even now, I marvel at the majesty of who God is; He is all-encompassing, and there is no need to add or subtract from Him.
From a young age, we are taught how to effectively introduce ourselves to others. “Hi, I am Ashley”. We then fill in the blank with different cue words to describe ourselves. I am this or I am that. It is how we let others know who we are and what we are about.
Lately, I’ve done a lot of thinking about the importance of who I am inviting to the table, as it relates to my thoughts. What positive and/or negative thoughts do I allow to sit at the table with me as I go about my day? What are you allowing into your daily thoughts?
Have you ever done something, and then thought, “why am I so dumb”? Or if someone gives you a compliment, does your mind negate their comment, with “no, I am not pretty, or I am not intelligent or I am not strong”? Fill in the blank with whatever words you would use to describe yourself. How often are they positive and uplifting statements?
Several years ago, my mentor recommended that I create a personal proclamation. In this proclamation, she encouraged me to write down positive statements that were specifically true about me. This included positive statements I was struggling to believe about myself, and most importantly, the truth that God said about me. My list covered a range of descriptions, from body image, to skill sets to being “fearfully and wonderfully made” by God.
Now, I will be honest; it took a long time of diligently speaking the statements over myself every morning to materializing into my belief system. I had quite a bit of negative thinking and lies to combat. But when the truth finally settled in, that is when my viewpoint on myself, others, and God changed. The truth really will set you free….if you let it.
Nowadays, whatever I put after an “I am” statement, I make every effort for it be a positive truth. Because words have power and they have a great impact on our mindset and viewpoints. So be kind to yourself. But also be real.
I am a big supporter of self-love. Creating a personal proclamation to daily speak over myself has lifted my self-image and self-worth by leaps and bounds. I highly recommend it to anyone.
But while self-love is very important, so is self-evaluation. Telling ourselves how good we are and all the good things about us, but never addressing the areas that could use some attention, does a disservice not only to us but others as well. Yes, love yourself and love yourself deeply. Speak the beautiful truth of who you are over yourself daily. But don’t skim over the parts that aren’t so pretty. Because there are and will be parts of you that are not pretty. And while those parts should never be shamed, they also should not be ignored.
Self-love requires self-awareness. Without it, the process of self-love is useless. I encourage you to create your own personal proclamation to daily remind yourself of the beauty of who you are and all that you have to offer this world. But also, love yourself enough to be your very best. Which means looking at the areas that can be improved upon. Owning the truth of the goodness of who you are while being real about the areas that still require attention.
We are all on a journey towards our best, most true selves. Kindness, grace, and a healthy dose of constructive criticism can go a long way to get us there.
And when all else fails, remember, we are all God’s creation. Made in His Image. Let I AM shape your reality.