Have you ever considered the power of the phrase, “I Am”?
I have heard different uses of this phrase, some as simple as, “I am hungry,” “I am tired,” “I am happy,” “I am sad.” Very simple phrases and not much to consider about their meaning—or is there?
I was going through my emails the other day and came across one of Oprah’s inspirational messages. This one in particular read, “Two Powerful Words That Might Keep You From Your Best Life.” I decided to click on the link, curious as to what the words might be, and there was Oprah, in all of her beautiful essence saying, “I am excited,” “I am energized,” “I am ready,” and so on. The next phrase I heard was, “Whatever follows ‘I am’ will come looking for you.” Whoa!
I have always been a bit skeptical about rah-rah motivational gatherings. I’ve attended some of them and, yes, I felt excited! I felt energized! I believed anything was possible! And then as the motivational gathering ended, the “anything-is-possible” feeling ended shortly thereafter.
So here I sat listening to Oprah; and even went on to listen to the full sermon by Pastor Joel that changed the way Oprah sees her life. Here too was this energized man full of excitement telling the audience about the power of the words “I Am.” I felt my resistance to believing what he was saying. I thought, “Of course Oprah and the Pastor feel excited and energized, and everything else they are saying—look at their lives! What is there not to be excited about?”
Then something shifted in me. I considered the words I was hearing. I looked at the times in my life, past and present, when I used the words “I am.” I can say that they haven’t always been on the positive side. When I’m tired, “I am tired.” But has this become a habit? If this simple phrase can become a habit, perhaps I have even manifested this feeling. What else have I been saying after the words “I am”?
It’s a good thing that I’ve been practicing mindfulness about the language I use when I communicate with myself. Because of it, it didn’t take me long to realize how often I said phrases such as, “I am so tired of being in debt.” “I am so tired of my life.” “I am so inadequate.” And the list goes on…what has come after the “I am” has found me.
So I asked myself the question, “Why not consciously change the way I talk about myself”? How about if I start saying, “I am so precious”? “I am so blessed and happy with my life.” “I am very capable of doing what I long to do.” “What harm could this bring?” “What do I have to lose?” What if what comes after “I am” finds me?
What has followed your “I am”? What do you wish to follow it?
The wonderful thing about change is that we don’t have to do it all at once. It can be a process. We can become aware of what we want to change. We can accept that it is time for change, and then we can take action—one step at a time.
Each day I will look in the mirror and say something amazing that I am. We are all amazing. We can see that in each other and we can say that to each other. Yet the most important person that needs to tell us we’re amazing is us.
Maria Rueda can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.