By Becky Morris:
I am not my sister.
I am not sure why I feel compelled to say it, but “my sister and I do not look alike”. My sister is several years younger than I. We have a very close relationship, but in all actuality look very little alike. She has curly hair, I have straight. She has blue eyes, I have hazel. Our faces are shaped differently; in fact, there is very little about us that truly resemble one another. However, people are constantly getting us confused and some ask us if we are twins. This perplexes both of us and we have a difficult time understanding exactly what others are seeing.
I wonder: What is it that people are seeing that makes us look alike in their eyes? Why do we spend so much time telling people what our differences are rather than our similarities? What is so hard about accepting the fact that others think we look alike? If I am focused on assuring that I am not my sister, might that keep me from affirming what or who I am?
In fact, if I am focused on assuring that I am NOT something, might that keep me from affirming who I am or what I aspire to be?
What, this old thing?
Does anyone ever come up to you and give you a compliment or make a positive comment and your response is trying to tell them differently? What if we saw what they are seeing? Why do we try so hard to make them see the differences? What value would it bring to our lives if we saw what they saw? What if we were more accepting of their observations rather than respond with the proverbial “Are you kidding me?”
If you are working on making positive changes in your life, could you use the comments of others and turn them into positive affirmations for yourself?
When working with our clients we stress the power of affirmations. By definition, affirmations are “positive statements, to assert as valid or confirmed” (Merriam-Webster). We state that an affirmation is a positive statement that reinforces what you believe to be true. We believe that affirmations should have the following qualities:
- Affirmations should be positive
- Affirmations should be stated in the first person singular
- Affirmations should be within the realm of your capacity to believe (realistically high)
- Affirmations should be directly related to your goals, your values, your mission or purpose
- If your affirmation includes something that you cannot currently believe or only achieve sporadically but it states a quality that you want to achieve consistently, then emphasize how you will feel or be when you achieve that quality. (For example, “I love how I feel when …”)
I am not my sister. But the next time someone comments on how much I look like my sister, my response is going to be “Thank you. Isn’t she beautiful?”