I’ve been dipping into that self-help stuff. The Secret. Heal Your Life, Smart Women Foolish Choices, and etcetera. It’s good to dip into those every now and then just to remind yourself of certain wisdoms. Some of them give you affirmations. – “I will make a million rand by the end of this month”. Or – “I am ready to receive my perfect life partner and he manifests in my life at breakfast at Life in Hyde Park tomorrow morning at 9.30,” – and that sort of thing. You have to repeat these affirmations with focus, with conviction, with fervour, and with hope.
The writers of the self-help missive say you can’t have a moments doubt. You cannot think for even a flash of a second ‘what if it doesn’t work’ because if you do you will cause your deepest desire not to manifest. What a load of hooey! I mean, it is hooey, isn’t it? It has to be. Does it even begin to be possible that hope is not peppered with doubt? In fact, if there is no rule without an exception to that rule and if doubt is the exception to hope, then is doubt not an essential component of hope?
I won’t be at Life at 9.30 tomorrow morning, so if my perfect life partner rocks up there, he’ll probably bump into some other woman with an affirmation and a hope, but because he is my perfect partner and not hers they will be miserable and eventually break up and she will be searching the self help isle at Exclusive Books for answers in books like Smart Women Foolish Choices, or The Path to Love and she’ll be healing her life with the help of Louise Hay. He will do the disillusioned man destroyed by a woman thing and turn into a commitment phobic, emotionally minimized, misogynistic, bed hopping, self-centred prick. You see the damage that is wrought by doubt. All this because I am too much in doubt about his existence to go and have breakfast at Life in accordance with the dictates of my affirmation. Doubt is never disappointed. It’s only hope that gets disappointed.
I like the affirmations page of Heal Your Life. It tells you how to heal yourself of ailments. For example if you have grey hair, forget the “L’Oreal, because I’m worth it” spiel. Forget that you are approaching 50 and nature is having her way. Acknowledgement of nature is doubt. You must sit in your quiet place and repeat with focus, conviction, fervour and hope “I am at peace and comfortable in every area of my life”. Then I guess you just visualise a colour other than grey and presto!
Abdominal cramps – that’s me right now. Stomach cramps from hell. The red devil is raging and scraping that fiery hot scythe across my insides and the book recommends that in the midst of my pain, discomfort and foul PMS-induced disposition, I must repeat “I trust the process of life. I am safe”.
I wasn’t always cynical about this stuff. In fact, I suppose I’m still not really. Ok, yes I am, just a bit – a big bit. I believe in the power of thought and I believe that repetition and internalising of affirmations can change the way you think. Many years ago when I was confused and desperate I clung to the hope provided by books full of pep talks and affirmations and reminders to love and approve of myself. It helped me. Louise Hay saved my life once upon a time. Now that I love and approve of myself I shouldn’t sneer.
The thing is that I already trust the process of life. I do. And I’m safe. I feel safe. I’m there. But the abdominal pain is also there and even though I believe the affirmation I don’t think that it matters what I believe or say right now, or with how much focus, conviction, fervour and hope. The only thing that is going to get rid of these abdominal cramps is drugs – prescription drugs. I’ll alter the affirmation. “I trust the process of life. I am safe. I believe in the effectiveness of prescription drugs”.