As I pointed out a couple of weeks ago, many spiritual teachers caution strongly about the ways we phrase things. While I agree about avoiding limiting language, I do think the issue can be taken too far. For instance, when it comes to weight loss, some say we should “release” weight, not “lose” it, I guess because we might find it again. Or perhaps it’s because “loss” has such a negative connotation. After working for Weight Watchers for five years, though, I’ve seen hundreds of people successfully lose weight, so I hold no fear of the phrase.
David Friedman makes a point about wording that I think is well worth considering, however. He suggests that we should exchange “I am” with “I feel” much of the time. As I understand him, “I am” statements are best reserved for declarations of truth about ourselves, describing characteristics that are immutable. Let’s say “I am a child of God” but “I feel hungry.” Or “I am divinely blessed” although I may “feel” frustrated, disappointed, or angry. Saying we feel these things rather than we are them acknowledges that they’re temporary situations, not a way of being.
When it comes to enhancing our ability to receive, let’s keep the “I am” statements positive and know it’s okay to acknowledge our feelings at that moment: I feel limited from time to time, but in reality I am prospered when I remember that “I have a rich Father who’s taking care of this,” (to borrow one of Charles Fillmore’s most delightful affirmations). I feel impatient, but I am on the way to realizing the abundance I desire. I am grateful, and I am capable of receiving all I need with grace and ease. How about you?