There is no question but that positive affirmations have a real, tangible effect on a person’s life pattern. Perhaps without realizing it there are many times that people affirm the positive: “have a good day,” going to church, believing in a God, wishing someone “good luck,” experiencing a sense of hope amidst circumstances that create turmoil in one’s life, etc. The examples are myriad and meaningful but not altogether unusual. They tend to show how important and necessary thinking, feeling and acting in a positive manner is to the human person.
Think of our forefathers who came to the United States with only the clothes on their backs (as my grandparents did) and what it must have taken to positively affirm their plight amidst prejudice, language barriers, low socioeconomic status and, having left the familiarity of their homelands, having to adjust to a culture that was not in keeping with their habits of living life. As we measure the hardships that we may be experiencing against what they must have experienced and endured, the comparison pales. However, the lessons taught in their ability to fight off their hardships and stressors can only prove to be an incentive for us in dealing with ours. Their mental attitude, without a psychotherapist among them, had to unquestionably be confident, positive and competitive in order to survive. It wasn’t just “having a nice day” but true survival which became the basis for our present-day society.
Psychologically, socially, economically and personally, without positive affirmations, it is unlikely that those burdened with physical afflictions would be able to rise in the morning to face their day without something positive to look forward to. Contrary wise, I would suggest visiting a nursing home where some of the inhabitants have nothing to look forward to but death in order to gain a sense of the devastating effect of a lack of positive affirmation. For them, there is no purpose, rhyme or reason to living. No family comes to visit them. They’ve given up. I was part of a team that conducted studies of nursing homes with my interviewing their inhabitants. It was one of the saddest yet meaningful.
Contrary wise, I had a sister who, stricken with polio at a very young age, required nursing home care at the tender age of 42 upon the death of our mother who was her caretaker. She was visited several times a week by different family members. Her greatest joy came from seeing her nieces and nephews of all ages come to visit and some to perform for her. Although unable to move her extremities and could barely speak because of repeated strokes, her most favorite saying was “and this too shall pass.” It has become my favorite saying as well. I believe this to be an affirmation of the highest level. Although I miss her terribly, she is with me daily as I repeat her beautiful mantra.
Both as a consultant and author, Charles Bonasera’s story-telling have motivated people to change patterns and resolve problems in their lives. All of his books contain valuable, practical lessons that people can easily apply to bettering and managing their lifestyles. He has also written a myriad of articles which can be found on his website at www.charlesmbonasera.com.