One of the things I have disliked the most about teaching was the negativity. I hated hearing “Oh.. you have so and so student… and they would rattle off a bunch of terms they decided most fit the child.” My experience was different, most times, I would wonder am I doing something wrong, because this student is a joy. I realized that it wasn’t the student, but the process that we went through together that was right for us as teacher and student.
Going back to art has been humbling, but learning new art forms this year has also provided opportunities for self reflection and learning. I see it as almost defeating but also the biggest lesson in my transformation. I could keep telling myself I’m horrible at it, or I can practice, consistently fixing my mistakes until I get it right. I can choose to transform my mistakes into a work of art. The same goes for our own mental health. We can choose to keep working at things, and we can also choose to change the messages we tell ourselves. “I’m messy, I’m flaky, I’m tired.” Neuroscientists, psychiatrists and radiologists have all concluded that we can change our brains to make them more creative, repair traumatic brain injuries and prevent erratic and dangerous behavior. Changing our habits are often illustrated in the scriptures too. Ephesians speaks about putting on the “new self”, Galatians tells us to “not give up”, Romans tells us to be “transformed by the renewal of our mind.” Isn’t it amazing, we don’t have to go to medical school to refocus our thoughts and our brain?
I encourage you to change your inner dialogue, to then change your habits. Establish new rituals that help transform what you formerly thought of yourself. Leave the fear behind and jump boldly into something new and exciting, without fear of failing.
I’m speaking to myself here, as I tell myself, I’m not good at decorating, I should just try to keep my home neat and organized. So here I go, dreading going into my son’s messy room, but desiring to make him a superhero room all by myself. Let’s see how this goes!
With the love and peace of Christ,