I was going through a difficult transition in my life. I had no self-esteem and minimal self-confidence, accompanied by a severe lack of self-worth. I was in search of an anchor. I found myself in a Unity church, where my spiritual journey began 39 years ago.

The first class I took was based on the 1903 book Lessons in Truth by H. Emilie Cady, considered to be a Unity foundational course.

The early lessons emphasized the need to lift our thinking to a higher level and explained the simple concept of affirmations and denials. Denials encourage us to turn away from negative thinking. Affirmative statements replace our negative thoughts and beliefs with the Truth.

I began to use denials and affirmations in my daily life. Cady wrote that denials have an erosive or dissolving tendency. I definitely needed to dissolve the negative image I had of myself. Affirmations build up strength, courage, and power—just what I needed to rebuild my life.

Powerful Words Replace Negative Thoughts

I developed a mental file of short, easy-to-remember statements of Truth that I could draw on whenever I reverted to negative thinking that did not honor and support my innate divinity. The ability to change my thinking released me from the grip of despair.

I have collected many affirmations throughout the years. One I invoke regularly is in the area of relationships. I learned it from Rev. Tom Thorpe, one of my early instructors:

Let divine love and wisdom speak through me.

I use it most often in difficult conversations before responding to the other person.

I also gathered many of my go-to affirmations in those early years from the work of long-time Unity minister Catherine Ponder. I found them particularly helpful in the area of prosperity. God is my Source. It’s a simple but profound statement of Truth about myself and the infinite abundance of the universe.

Affirmations for Anyone, Anywhere

You don’t have to undertake serious spiritual study to use this technique. Affirmations can be gleaned from anywhere. For example, I like the recent book title You Are Enough by Panache Desai, and it translates easily into a personal affirmation: I am enough.

Short, simple, to the point, and above all, true!

This is not simply positive thinking. Our ability to vocalize is vital to our use of affirmations. We must speak them as often as we can because words bring thoughts into existence. Through repetition—aloud whenever possible—we internalize our affirmations and make them our own.

This article first appeared in the Unity booklet Nurture Your Divine Spirit.