Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Monsters We Create

I've been reading this book lately that has captivated the way I think. I have a big problem with beating up on myself. The author brings up an interesting point about when we as human beings do this. He gives the example of a nice looking girl who thinks she's hideous, a super mom who struggles with depression because of all she isn't doing, and a macho man who turns to terrorist to prove he is not weak. Because they have such over the top expectations, they see themseleves and all their mistakes worse than they are...seeing only the "monster" that they are.The author talks about how these monsters we make of our selves (the girl feeling like a hideous beast, the man turning into a terrorist, the mom feeling like a failure of a mom) would not even exist if we did have such ridiculous expectations of ourselves. If the girl didn't have that desperate desire to be drop dead gorgeous, and the man didn't idealize himself as incredibly courageous and strong, and the mother didn't picture herself as the perfect mom, these hideous monsters they imagine themselves to be would not exist.
This stuck a chord with me, because it's true. It seems I am always trying to "prove my worth" (as the author states). We are all get caught up at times trying to prove to others or ourselves how beautiful we are, how sociable, how financially successful, how kind and generous, how religious, how knowledgeable...the list goes on (and I'm not just saying that I really could list several more attributes). I think we all probably do it to one degree or another.

But the thing is, if we really understood what we were worth, we wouldn't need to prove it. If I really understood that I am a divine daughter of a loving, powerful God, and that I am of infinite worth, then I wouldn't need to prove that I'm beautiful, smart, or funny. I would know that I am worth something with out all that. And then, I could focus all my energies on others, rather than myself.

I want to be rid of this monster I have created. I want to believe what I always have heard growing up that I am of infinite worth.

The question I have do I get there?

Monday, November 15, 2010

So lucky!

Another lesson from my kindergarteners...
I have one sweet little ESL student who melts my heart every day. She has taught me to count my blessings.

"Mrs. K, we are so lucky! We have the best teacher!"
"Mrs. K., we are so lucky! We can play at recess! So lucky!"
"We are so lucky we can color!"
"Mrs. K.,we are so lucky we have so many friends in our class!"

Everyday, she finds several reasons why we are so lucky, even if they are so simple. She helps me realize I am so lucky, so lucky to be alive and well, to have a job I love, to have people that love me and I love them, to see, smell, feel, touch, and hear, to live and breath each day.

I'm so lucky to know her.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Lessons from Kindergartners

It always seems whenever I'm in a position to teach, I end up being taught. These are a few lessons I've learned from my kindergartners...
Forgiveness takes no more than ten minutes.
Some people say it's impossible to forgive and forget. These kindergartners have taught me its easy. No matter how angry, hurt, or betrayed they feel, a few minutes later they will have forgotten all about it. I've realized that as I've had to firmly discipline students who at first are incredibly angry at me, then ten minutes later they are hugging me and showing me excitedly how good they colored their paper. They do the same with their friends. They forgive, and forget. In less than ten minutes.

Express your feelings.
I am a "bottler". I bottle up all those hurt feelings and think about them to myself. My kids, however, tell how they feel rather easily. Often they will tell me "that hurt my feelings" or "she doesn't want to play with me. I feel lonely." After merely expressing these feelings it seems to make them feel better. Sometimes that's what we all need to do. Let someone know if something hurts your feelings and you'll find usually it is unintentional. It feels good to get it out.

Love unconditionally.
After one day of working at the school I work at, anytime I would see one of the kids in the hall they would excitedly say my name and would wave until their hands nearly fell off. When I would walk in the classroom I would be attacked with hugs. And they barely knew me. they loved me just because I existed. What if we all loved like that?

Find humor everywhere.
One of my favorite memories in the short time I've been working with them is when we played a quick silent follow the leader game. The stuff I did wasn't that funny, but to them it was HILARIOUS! They made me feel like a million bucks. And I couldn't help but giggle too. They make laughing easy, which is how life should be.

These are just a few...more to come I'm sure.

Welcome to my head!

Hi! If you are reading this...I love you! Thank you for paying attention to me. I love attention, I can't help it. This is my ...sixth or seventh attempt at blogging. I don't know why but I feel this urge to blog, even though I haven't been very successful at it so far. I think my urge comes from my overloaded brain. I am always thinking, analyzing, philosophizing and sometimes it is kind of overwhelming! I think I am drawn to blogging because it is an outlet, a way for me to make sense of the mess in my head. And hopefully, you can help me make sense of it too, add your own in sites, or just be entertained. Whatever reason you decided to check out my blog, I'm glad your here, and welcome to my head!