Are your Affirmations Working?

Affirmations. Mantras. Those words we say to ourselves, over and over, to bring about a desired outcome. I've been repeating 3 affirmations daily for about 3 months now. Are they working?

I'd like to lie to you and tell you that all my hopes and dreams have come true as a result of simply writing down my three daily affirmations. But I can't. When I agreed to take on my position as Head Blogger (okay, only blogger) here at Balance Salad, I swore an oath of honesty. And TMI. Let's not forget about all the over-sharing I promised to my readers.

The truth is: my affirmations are a load of crap.

My Number One affirmation is 1) I am filled with energy and enthusiasm.

This is a freaking joke. I am a total sloth. I'd like to blame this unbelievably wet, cold, and gray weather we've been having now for almost a full month, but I doubt the sunshine would perk me up much. I tried to cut out my second cup of coffee, but that caffeine is the only thing keeping me vertical for the second half of my day. Every time I write this affirmation, I just want to laugh. Not a sweet little giggle, but a maniacal cackle like the Wicked Witch of the West.

My second affirmation is 2) My body is strong and resilient.

This is another bald-faced lie. My body is a train wreck, falling apart, piece by piece. I have a burning sensation that is probably tennis elbow, a torn calf muscle, a wonky knee, chronic tendonitis in my Achilles, excessively tender and enormous breasts, and a recurring headache with stuffy nose and sinus pressure. Enough said.

My third affirmation is 3) I have so much left to learn.

Okay, this one is true. But the whole point of writing this affirmation is to dredge up some excitement about all the stuff out there I can learn. How to paint pet portraits. How to make cheese. How to kayak. Yet, I'm having trouble feeling even the slightest inclination toward taking any of this on. Sure, it would be awesome if I could paint my dog's portrait. But that would involve purchasing paint and brushes, probably an easel and a smock, taking a bunch of classes, making a ton of terrible paintings before seeing any progress, finding the time for all of the above. Just thinking about it makes me so tired, I need to go take a nap.

Yesterday on Facebook a friend posted something that amounted to a list of affirmations. It went something like this:

"My butt looks perfect. My smile lights up a room. I'm doing awesome at life."

I might have forgotten something, but this was the gist of it. And I thought: this is more like it.

My body may be falling apart, but my butt still looks good. I can't really see it, but my husband says it does and I choose to believe him. My smile might not be an orthodontist's dream, but it's contagious and that's what really matters. I choose to share it, even if I'm feeling like doggie do-do. I'm not sure if "awesome" really describes how I'm doing at life, but I'm putting myself out there and I'm making an effort. I choose to consider that awesome enough.

Maybe I've found my new mantras.