I love book titles. I suspect it is because I rarely make time to read a whole book, so when a book’s title or subtitle is a good reminder of the message within, all I have to do is glance at my bookshelf for a daily hit of self-help: Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway; How to Behave So That Your Children Will, Too; Do What You Love and the Money Will Follow. Of course, you have to be careful with some of these titles because if you are using it as an affirmation, there might be better wording. Rather than Do What You Love and the Money Will Follow, I would way prefer to “Do what I love and have the money join me.” After all, money followed Van Gogh’s love for painting, but it came a century too late for him to enjoy. And rather than Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway, I would prefer to "Feel the fear, do It anyway and joyfully live through it!”
And then there are titles like, He’s Just Not That Into You, or Men Who Hate Women and the Women Who Love Them. While these are not positive affirmations, these titles serve as good reminders to take a moment to self-observe, do a little self-inquiry and simply notice when we are compromising and settling just because we don’t want to be alone. So often I hear people choose to honor their fear rather than truth, or love, or joy. We choose to honor our fear of being alone, or fear of a lack of finances, or fear of losing our reputation, and in so doing endure abuse, disrespect or simply a lot of unhappiness.
What’s on your bookshelf? Perhaps your shelves are full of romance novels with sordid titles that reek of unrequited love. While fascinating entertainment, much like a soap opera, romance novels play on our addiction to drama, sabotage, jealousy, revenge, and our addiction to what we cannot or should not have—partners that are unavailable emotionally or physically. Simply notice what kinds of relationship and self-esteem messages you consciously or unconsciously bombard yourself with in what you surround yourself with, in what you read, choose to watch on TV and in the lyrics you listen to in your music choices. These messages feed your self-talk and they also feed your actions.
Today’s lyrics are often full of “I can’t live without you” or “I’ll never make it alone.” Some are full of hate and despair. While many of these songs are masterful musically, simply take the time to notice what you are choosing to pump into your unconscious. Chances are that you will begin to notice a similarity in the way that you think and the often unconscious choice of what you bombard your senses with. The saying, “Garbage in, garbage out” is a true one.
All I am suggesting is that you simply notice. Become aware. Watch to see if your world is full of drama because you are, in essence, worshipping drama. If you find that to be true, and if you want to experience something different, all you have to do is begin to choose to do something differently. Begin to balance the “I’ll never be loved” songs with “Shower the people you love with love” lyrics. Look at your bookshelf and retire the books that feed your drama and sense of lack. Choose movies and TV shows that support your mental, emotional, physical and spiritual growth and your sense of abundance. Notice how you treat people and how you speak to them, and align your words, thoughts and actions with the kind of life you really want to live and the kind of person you really want to be.
Soon, you will find that as you begin to make your inner world healthier—one of choice rather than automatic pilot, your outer world will become a healthier reflection of who you really are and what you really want to create. You will attract to you a different kind of relationship. You will attract different opportunities. You will no longer be willing to honor your fear over creating joy in your life. It truly is all a matter of choice.