Present Tense

I Am (insert something positive here)……


I’ve been exploring affirmations.  I’ve always thought it seemed so silly to tell myself how great I am or how much I love myself, but once I stopped to think about how often I speak negatively to myself, I began to see how turning it around might turn ME around.

Think about how often you find yourself saying, “I’m so stupid/mean/lazy/unorganized/whatever negative thing comes to mind”.  That is considered normal self-talk for women.  It’s also considered normal to say it out loud, to other people.

On the other hand, how often do you praise yourself inwardly.  “I’m really good at my job/my marriage/parenting/spelling/cooking, etc.”  And God forbid we EVER actually say these things out loud to others.  “Well, isn’t she full of herself…who does she think she is, bragging like that.”

Funny how that works.  We are supposed to be developing a kinder, gentler, more PC nation and yet we (sometimes falsely) heap praise on others, while denigrating ourselves.  Ladies, I’m talking to you.  We’re supposed to be empowered by now.

It seems as if it’s required of women to constantly be too hard on ourselves.  Our looks, our brains, our abilities, our hormones; all of them are never good enough. Culturally, we’re branded as crazy and moody and cat-fighty and incompetent and silly.

This time of year, I’m always so annoyed at the Valentine’s Day commercials for teddy bears and pajamas.  The spots always feature a leering guy, happily purchasing something that would appeal to a 10 year-old girl (unless she was me at 10; I preferred a new baseball mitt) because he thinks it will ensure some hot sack time with her.  The message being “women are so simple and child-like.”

Would any of us consider buying the men in our lives a Tonka truck and Spiderman pajamas for a gift to show our love?  Men would feel disrespected and belittled by that.

There are a lot of crazy cultural messages flying around and unfortunately many of us gals embrace them, buy into them, foster them and add them to our self-talking points.

So, here we are.  Back to self-talk.  What do we tell ourselves about ourselves?  And by extension, what do we as a gender, radiate out to our culture?  Constantly reiterating what we’re supposedly not good at, becomes ingrained.  Men believe it, our daughters believe it, our leaders believe it, marketers believe it and it circles back to us and we believe it.

We are smart, competent, grown-up, reliable, innovative, creative, loving, nurturing and equal.  Let’s all start talking the self-talk and walking the walk.

Here’s one to get us started.  “I love who I am. I am grounded in my own power.  I am secure on all levels.”  And I don’t want a giant teddy bear for Valentine’s Day.

February 8, 2014 - Posted by | Musings | , , , , , , , , ,


  1. AMEN Jane!! Thank you so very much for putting this in writing so we (all women) can read this and start saying this to ourselves and others. First time commenting, but I so enjoy your writings. There are so many times that you say exactly how I’m feeling or your words get me to think. So, again, Thank you! I’ll be in LAF this coming week and look forward to meeting you. Have a wonderful weekend!

    Comment by Barbara Wade | February 8, 2014 | Reply

  2. LOL! This one truly hit it on the head Jane. I am on a weight loss journey right now and I have just realized how horrible I have been speaking to myself…and its like self fulfilling prophesy. NO MAS I say! I will share this on my FB page. I enjoy listening to you and reading your blogs. You hit home darn near every time! Keep it up sister, we are all on this crazy ride together!

    Comment by Paula G | February 8, 2014 | Reply

  3. Thank-you! Valentines Day again & I am single…… And it is really okay !

    Comment by Eve fain | February 8, 2014 | Reply

  4. We just had this talk this morning about how destructive all the Hallmark Holidays are. No one should be told when and how to heap love on someone. It needs to be a year round thing and much more personal than a stuffed animal or candy. If its contrived its only for the ego anyway. Our expectations have been blown up to epic proportions.

    It took some convincing for the Michigan cynic in me but I am now a firm believer in positive affirmations. For me it works the same way as a smile. When I catch myself scowling I make a smile and it trips the happy trigger in the brain. Instantly better. I turn to affirmations when I am in a generally negative spiral. You know its happening but it starts to take over. The shift is like changing a channel. The human condition will always send us in the wrong direction and it takes super human strength to beat it. I’m proud to be counted among your pack of survivors.

    Cheers to you and your always thought provoking posts Young Jane. Makes me smile for real;)

    Comment by Margie | February 8, 2014 | Reply

  5. Thanks Jane. Normally I can be very critical of things I do. BUT today I painted an amazing painting that I am proud of!. Hooray for me 🙂

    Comment by Sharon Cary | February 8, 2014 | Reply

  6. Louise Hay makes some great affirmation cards, like the Power Thought deck, if you have trouble coming up with your own. I think I know some men who would really like Tonka truck and Spiderman pjs for present and would not feel belittled by it. Lately (like after eating about a dozen Girl Scout cookies), I have been thinking of myself negatively as a bad kitty mom, not brushing her daily like I used to, not changing the kitty litter as often as I am supposed to, etc. but then I remind myself that I did rescue her from a life outdoors so despite my so-called failings, she is still better off!

    Comment by Jessi | February 9, 2014 | Reply

    • I was reading a book by Louise Hay. She is undoubtedly the queen of affirmations:)

      Comment by janelondon | February 10, 2014 | Reply

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