Denying reality doesn’t help. You have to acknowledge your challenges and feelings. You need to set goals you can believe in. And then, the words you speak to yourself can change you.

Especially when those words speak from a timeless wisdom.

Best to start by reciting and memorizing one in the evening. Repeat in the morning. Try to repeat it again several times over the day. Once it’s a part of you, take on another one.

If you need help, we’re at

1. Uphill

I feel a heavy dark mass inside. It drags me down like lead weights on my wrists, my ankles, my heart and my mind, and deep in my guts.

But I will continue pushing ahead. Because all that this means is that I am cycling uphill.

2. Purpose

If the world did not need me, I would never have come here. I am a precious child of the Infinite Light. I have not been dumped into the pain of this journey without purpose.

So I can’t see a purpose. Why should it surprise me that a puny creature down on the ground can’t see what its Creator sees from beyond time and space?

All I know is that there is no journey without purpose, no life without meaning. It may take years, many years, but one day I’ll look back and I’ll see how it was all well worth it. I will see, and so will the entire world.

3. The Spiral

Before I was even conceived, before the entire universe was born, it was determined that everything that happens will be for the good, that all that exists should spiral relentlessly upward, that the destiny of all darkness will be light.

As big a mess as my life could be—whether it was dumped on me, or even if I’m the one who made it that way—none of that could possibly throw off track the purpose of all being, including my own being. Perhaps I’ve taken a detour. Perhaps I’ve chosen my own path. I’ve taken a greater responsibility upon myself to clean up my own mess.

But, at the end of the day, whatever has happened, whatever I’ve done, it’s only carried me and the entire world higher, closer to the great light.

4. Sandpaper

Others seem to be whisking through life along a Teflon highway. I feel like I’m being shlepped over sandpaper.

Or perhaps I am the sandpaper. Perhaps I am here to grind down the world.

So they glide smoothly through life, maybe even shine bright for a while—but when they leave, nothing has really changed. But with every hardship of my life, the hard edges of the world are ground away a little more. Every battle I win makes it easier for those who follow.

If I fail, I can pick myself up and battle again. Each time I win, I have fixed something in the world forever. For this I was created. For this the whole world was brought into being.

5. Freedom of Imagination

This dark thing may have power over my mood, even over my body. But my imagination remains free. I can imagine whatever I want to imagine.

So now I choose to imagine tomorrow, when I will be full of life. I can see it, I can feel it. It is where I want to be.

Where my imagination takes me, there I am, all of me.

6. Nevertheless . . .

Maybe everything I’m saying about myself is true. Maybe I really am a pitiful failure, immature and dull, unable to control myself, messing up again and again in public scenes—maybe it’s even far worse than anything I’ve imagined.

And yet, despite all this, at the core of the universe lies the Source of All Life, at every moment pumping life into me out of unconditional love, with infinite patience.

Perhaps it’s not so bad to be broken. Without being broken, how can you feel sincere gratitude?

7. Better Nothing

So I’m a nobody. Maybe that’s a good thing. If I were a somebody, I would deserve something. If I were a big somebody, I would deserve everything.

But I’m a nobody. So whatever I get is a gift.

Every new morning of life, every pulse of my heart, every breath, every act of caring from whoever it is—being a nobody, I can celebrate all of those.

8. Divinely Happy

Others were born with souls naturally sweet and buoyant. It looks like mine is bitter and weighs heavy; it battles me at every turn.

On the other hand, those sweet souls live lives that are not really their own. They had no part in creating those lives. They have what they were given.

I can create my own life. G‑d created bitter and sweet, dark and light. I can take bitterness and turn it sweet, darkness and make it shine.

It will be hard, very hard. But it will be my own light. When it comes time to return it to its Creator, I will say, “Look what I made with the stuff you gave me!”

And He will say, “That’s my child!”

9. Bitter Sweets

It is bitter inside.

I can let that bitterness turn outward, to resentment and anger at the world.

Or I can turn it inward, to crack me open, rip me apart, shatter my soul and break my heart.

That could be bad. But it could also be good.

Because no place can contain more light or create more beauty than a broken heart, and to a shattered soul every breath of life is a gift.

10. Release

It’s true that I’m a mess. Maybe even despicable, rotten and wormy.

But it’s also true without a doubt that at my very core dwells a divine spark, G‑d Himself breathing within me.

Okay, I’ve chained down that divine spark and locked her in a dark cell. I can hardly hear her screams for mercy through the thick concrete walls.

So then, this will be my project in life, my goal in all that I do: To release that spark from its cell and bring her back in union with her Beloved who has breathed her within me. Every time I am engaged in divine wisdom, or in a divine act, or pouring my heart out to that Beloved, no matter what a mess I remain, that beautiful divine soul is returning home.

What greater celebration could there be than a precious child returning home?

Click for more, and a pdf download: Ten More Affirmations.