My Son is Not a Man

Dylan is two years old.

He’s not a man.

He’s not a Little Man.

When his father goes out of town for business, Dylan is not the man of the house.

He doesn’t “take care of his mama”.

He doesn’t ever have to “man up”.

He’s two years old.

Regardless of what he thinks of masculinity in the future, it doesn’t apply to him now.

I have heard variations of all those “man” phrases directed at my son or other people’s sons.

I cringe every time.

When you imagine saying any of those things to girl children, their absurdity is revealed.

Imagine calling a girl child a woman or nicknaming her Little Woman.

Imagine calling her the woman of the house when her mother is out of town.

Imagine telling her to take care of her father.

Imagine telling her to “suck it up”.

I don’t know.

Maybe people say these things to their daughters, too.

Ew.

Can’t children just stay children?

Can’t they avoid pointless gendering for just a few more years. (No, of course.)

Can’t Dylan just be my baby and not some tiny caricature of masculinity?

He’s not a little man. He’s not the man of the house. He doesn’t have to take care of me. He doesn’t have to man up.

Please.

My Son is Not a Man {LoveLiveGrow} #parenting #kids #gender

How to Find Your Personal Positive Affirmations

This post is the third post in a series on positive affirmations. Each of these titles will be linked up once the whole series is posted over the next couple of weeks.

  1. Why It’s Okay For You To Use Positive Affirmations
  2. What Are Positive Affirmations?
  3. How To Find Your Personal Positive Affirmations
  4. Add Depth to Your Positive Affirmations
  5. Supercharge Your Positive Affirmations
  6. Get Aggressive With Your Positive Affirmations

The last post had examples of positive affirmations. They may be all well and good, but what you really need are the intensely personal positive affirmations that will truly make a difference in your life.

How can you find those? I’ll give you two simple techniques.

Opposite Affirmations

First, you’re going to take a look at your negative self-talk that we talked about in the first post in this series. Those horrible, awful things you tell yourself are the exact opposites of the positive affirmations that YOU need.

For example, one of the things I tell myself is that I’m disorganized. When I am telling myself this I feel out of control. I feel like I don’t have it together and that I never will. The “objective truth” is that I am organized in some ways and disorganized in others.

Helpful positive affirmations for me around the topic of organization sound like this:

  • I am so organized.
  • I really have my shit together.
  • My systems are really helpful.

I also tell myself that I’m a terrible parent. Helpful positive affirmations for me about parenting sound like this:

  • I’m a loving and engaged parent.
  • Dylan is really lucky to have me as his mother.
  • I really love parenting and I do it so well.

What negative things do you regularly affirm and how can you switch them to positive affirmations?

Values Affirmations

The second technique for finding your personal positive affirmations is to imagine the feelings and values you want for yourself and affirm that you already have them.

Perhaps you would like to be happy. You would like to be confident and certain of yourself. You would like to be more honest and genuine. Some affirmations might sound like this:

  • I am really happy and full of joy.
  • I approach each day with confidence and strength.
  • I really speak my authentic truth.

The Structure of Your Affirmations

Remember the guidelines from the last post – keep them positive and in the present tense. You can relax a little bit on the short and sweet part. These are your personal positive affirmations, and you can begin to expand them a little if you like.

As you begin to work with personal positive affirmations, you are going to encounter even more resistance than you already have.

One of your objections may be the present tense part. You don’t feel like you’re there yet with the value in your affirmation, so you feel like you’re lying to yourself. I encourage you to try to push through that objection.

However, if you absolutely cannot bring yourself to approach your affirmations from an “already done it” perspective, here’s an alternative: approach it from a “making progress” perspective.

For example, if you just can’t say, “I am happy,” try something like, “I am learning to be happy,” or “I am making progress towards happiness”.

Continue to use “I am,” rather than “I will be”. Saying “I will be happy,” is a wish or a plea. Saying, “I am supporting my happiness more every day,” is a positive affirmation.

Also, use words like “learning” or “growing towards” but not “trying”. There is no try. Try has a whiny “never gonna happen” sound to it. Instead of, “I am trying to be confident,” go with something like, “I am gaining confidence” or “I am more confident than I was yesterday.”

You still want to stick in the present tense and with statements of certainty, but you can talk about being on the path instead of being at the destination.

What kinds of values do you want more of in your life? How can you word those as positive affirmations?

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Special note: This Positive Affirmation series is a mental health topic. I am writing about it because positive affirmations have been highly useful for me. While I write very forcefully about them, you are the only one in charge of your mental health treatment options. If this isn’t for you, chuck it and move on. Only you know what’s right for you.

 

Nonviolent Communication {LoveLiveGrow}Book Recommendation: Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life (affiliate link) has been enormously helpful in teaching me how to speak more compassionately with myself. The core of Nonviolent Communication (NVC) is learning how to make accurate observations, identify and express your needs and feelings, and make requests to help you meet those needs. You might think that “communication” would be primarily about other people, but the things you tell yourself in your own head are also communication. The techniques and perspectives of NVC have helped me improve the conversations I have with myself.

The Color Book {Review}

The Color Book by Sophie Benini Peitromarchi is a strange and fascinating book that is a little difficult to review. I think instead of a traditional kind of review, I will need to do something different.

Disclosure: To do this review, I received this book for free. All opinions are mine. The links in this post are affiliate links. I get a commission if you’d like to support me by buying through them.

 

Are You An Artist?

Do you paint or otherwise create with color? Are colors part of how you imagine your world?

Do you remember in color? Do you dream in color?

The Color Book {LoveLiveGrow} #art #painting #artwork

Do you dance with color or fight with color?

Do you understand how color comes to be… or do you want to?

The Color Book {LoveLiveGrow} #art #painting #artwork

Does color have feeling for you? Does color have personality? Does color have meaning?

Do your moods have color? Do you think in color?

The Color Book {LoveLiveGrow} #art #painting #artwork

Do you put more colors into the world? Do you want to create more colors?

If these questions resonate with you then The Color Book is for you. If these questions sound strange to you, and you want to know what they mean, then The Color Book is for you, too. It’s for any age of person who wants to dive deeper into color. It’s perfect for budding artists, master artists, and people who just like colors.

The Color Book {LoveLiveGrow} #art #painting #artwork"

A Perfect Moment in Red

I am watching a movie where everyone is going to die, and a character puts on her best dress and her treasured jewelry and then kills herself before the disaster can reach her.

I wonder how often she wore the special clothes and what a shame it would be if she hardly ever wore them until the very end.

I compare it to the practice of remodeling your house right before you sell it so the nicest house you’ve ever had is the one you’re not going to live in.

I turn off the movie and go put on a red dress I never wear and pretty jewelry I never wear.

Later that afternoon, I feed the pigs in my red dress. What does it matter if it gets messed up if I never wear it anyway? I love it, so maybe I should wear it every day until it falls off instead of saving it for never.

I show Dylan how to blow the seeds off the tops of dandelions.

We lie down in our big front yard, him naked, me in my pretty red dress and we gather dandelions and watch the tops blow off from the wind and our breath.

My necklace is a big locket so we tuck dandelion heads into the locket, but the cover is an intricate lacy pattern, and by the time we open the locket again all the seeds have already blown out through a magic trick of silver and wind.

I think to myself that this is a perfect moment, a delighted child learning the process of love and life snuggled between some grateful dandelions and me, a splash of red and happiness.

What Are Positive Affirmations?

This post is the next in a series on positive affirmations. Each of these titles will be linked up once the whole series is posted over the next couple of weeks.

  1. Why It’s Okay For You To Use Positive Affirmations
  2. What Are Positive Affirmations?
  3. How To Find Your Personal Positive Affirmations
  4. Add Depth to Your Positive Affirmations
  5. Supercharge Your Positive Affirmations
  6. Get Aggressive With Your Positive Affirmations
What are positive affirmations? {LoveLiveGrow} #depression #mentalhealth

{Image modified from Smile by Moyan Brenn / CC BY 2.0}

What Are Positive Affirmations?

You might have heard of positive affirmations without having a real sense of what they are. Before going on in this series, let’s make sure we all have the same starting point.

Affirmations are statements you make to yourself that assert something to be true. Positive affirmations affirm positive qualities and values that you want to strengthen in yourself and in your life.

For example, you might use positive affirmations to focus on confidence, peacefulness, or happiness.

You can use positive affirmations at any time and in any situation. You can say them out loud. You can write them down. You can think them to yourself.

You can enjoy positive affirmations without meditating a single minute. {Tweet this}

 Positive affirmations can also be used in a meditation practice, but I’m not going to focus on that in this series. People are often intimidated by meditation, and you can benefit from positive affirmations without needing to carve 20 minutes of silence out of your day.

The Structure of Positive Affirmations

Each affirmation has some characteristics you’ll want to keep in mind:

Positive phrasing. “I am…”, instead of “I am not…” It’s hard to respond positively to a negative statement. “I am not…” statements too easily slide into beating yourself up.

Present tense. “I am…”, not “I will be…” Imagine one of those corporate pep-talk meetings where they are pumping you up about the all the money you WILL make in the future. This is not that. When I do positive affirmations, I am not trying to trick nyself into becoming something different in the future. I am focusing positive judgments and feelings onto myself right now in the present.

Short and sweet. Another characteristic when we’re starting out here is that your positive affirmations should be short. Just a few words will do, and don’t go getting crazy with complex sentences. If there’s a comma you’ve gone too far!

In a later post, I’ll talk about how to expand on your affirmations to really give them depth.

For right now, make them short, easy to remember, positive, present tense, and packing a little punch.

“I’m awesome!” Now there’s a great affirmation!

Examples of Positive Affirmations

In the next post in this series I’ll talk about how to find your personal positive affirmations. In the mean time, here are some examples in different categories. You can use these examples to start thinking about what might work for you.

Positive Affirmations for Body Image

  • I love my body.
  • My body is powerful.
  • I take care of my body.
  • I am stylish.
  • I am beautiful.

Positive Affirmations for Confidence

  • I trust myself.
  • I know what I’m doing.
  • Everything is going smoothly.
  • I can do it. I am doing it!
  • I’m awesome.

Positive Affirmations for Worrying

  • I make good decisions.
  • Everything is working out.
  • I trust my abilities.
  • I have planned well.
  • I am safe.

What other areas of thinking could benefit from positive affirmations? What other examples can you think of?

{Be sure to subscribe to LoveLiveGrow so you can get every post right in your inbox or RSS reader!}

Special note: This Positive Affirmation series is a mental health topic. I am writing about it because positive affirmations have been highly useful for me. While I write very forcefully about them, you are the only one in charge of your mental health treatment options. If this isn’t for you, chuck it and move on. Only you know what’s right for you.

 

Creating a Charmed Life {LoveLiveGrow}

Book Recommendation: Creating a Charmed Life. This is a book that has been helpful to me in cultivating a more positive outlook on life. Don’t let the subtitle fool you; it doesn’t matter what gender you are. This book has a gazillion tiny little chapters, each one with a different way to bring a little charm into your life. What other tools have helped you stay positive?