Every morning, I drop Harper off at her elementary school and about an hour and a half later, I drop Bentley off at his preschool. When I drop each of them off at school, I have the exact same routine. I get them out of the car and I take a moment to remind them who they are.
I look them in the eyes and I tell them (some variation of this list):
(Harper or Bentley),
You are brave
You are strong
You are a leader
You are kind
You are beautiful
You are smart
You are enough
You are thoughtful
You are loved
You are needed
You have a HUGE heart
You are a mighty world-changer
After our walk from our car to the classroom, I give them a hug and a kiss, I look them in the eye and say, “Remember who you are.” Speaking these deep truths into my kids has become my prayer and my anthem for them – that no matter what others tell them, no matter what this world or this life throws at them, no matter what hurt or doubt they face – that they will remember who they are. Speaking these words to my kids has become habit for me, to the point when my two-year old finished going poo-poo on the potty ALL by herself recently (a HUGE milestone – I am telling you!), she walked out of the bathroom and announced emphatically, “I brave!”
I desire my kids to believe these truths so desperately because I have experienced the devastation of believing the VERY opposite for myself for more than a decade. I believed to my core that I was weak, anything but beautiful, not smart, never enough, loved conditionally, not necessary and didn’t or couldn’t make a difference. You can imagine the depression, anxiety, fear and isolation I experienced as a result.
Truly, by the grace of God, the “truth” I believed about myself for so long has been in the process of being re-written for the past handful of years. At a time when it was difficult for me to speak words of life to myself, my therapist would often ask me, “What would you say to Harper about this?” Instantly, tears would well up in my eyes, as I realized I would NEVER say to Harper the things I had been believing for myself.
Last night in our church service, I was reminded of how important the thoughts we have really are. I was reminded of how our thoughts create the framework of our mind. Proverbs 23:7 says, “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” A total re-write of the thoughts of my mind have come through choice and loads of grace. I’ve slowly been learning how to hold compassion for myself instead of contempt, and how God sees me, loves me and to believe who He says that I am.
When we remember who God says that we are, it acts as an anchor for our soul.
Every morning when I remind my kids of who they are, my words serve a dual purpose. They also serve as a reminder of who I am too.