Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Deep in Thought

I had an all-day conference for school this morning.  And I was dreading it.  I didn’t want to go, but I had signed up.  So I was obligated.  All morning I stewed and stewed.  I made myself so anxious I even threw up a little this morning.  Disgusting, I know.  But it relates.

It turns out that this conference was incredible on a lot of different levels.  I got a lot of practical advice that I can apply in my classroom right away.  In fact, I rewrote my 9th grade lesson plans during the presentation to better suit what I thought was important today.  I had some serious lightbulb moments (textbook publishers put things like pictures, captions, and cultural connections to help students….so I should use them).

Beyond that, though, our presenter said something that has been gnawing at me all day.  She told this early on:

Your brain believes what you tell it.

I couldn’t let this go all day.  I thought about it on so many levels.  I thought about it as it pertains to my students.  The words I say to them.  The words I teach them to say to themselves.  The words they have been taught to say to themselves.  So often in my classroom, I think, “Who has told you that that is all you worth?”  And I want to help them change it.  But it’s a struggle.  Because it’s a struggle for me.

My brain believes what I tell it.

When I tell myself that I am worthless, my brain believes it.

When I tell myself that I have no friends, my brain believes it.

When I tell myself that I am a failure as a wife, a teacher, an anything, my brain believes it.

This isn’t a totally new concept to me.  I have struggled with negative self-talk for a very long time, and spent a good deal of my junior year of college dealing with this issue with a very wise friend, K.Tro. 

But as I’ve gotten older, and been in more difficult situations, I’ve forgotten.  I’ve fallen back on old habits instead of speaking truth—truth from God’s Word.

And so today, I want to change that.  I want to change my belief system from lies to the truth.

Our speaker talked about the idea of speaking affirmations to yourself.  For instance, if you want to be organized and prepared, but struggle with, repeat over and over, “I am organized and I am prepared.”  And eventually you start to believe it and make it your reality. 

So today, I want to tell my brain this:

“No, in all these things [trouble, persecution, famine, nakedness, danger, sword, etc.] we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” Romans 8:37

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.  Stand firm, then, and do not let yourself be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1

“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old is gone, the new has come!” 2 Corinthians 5:17

And you had just better believe that my dear husband is designing a poster that says “Your brain believes what you tell it” to be displayed prominently in my classroom.

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