“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born
and the day you find out why.”
When we were small children there was no limit to what we believed. You see little boys dressing up to fly to the moon or holding a little stick saying they can kill a big dinosaur. Little girls dress up as a princess because they believe they are special. And this is normal. Kids will believe that a fat man comes down a chimney with gifts. Because you told them. They believe in God because you told them he is real. Be careful what you tell them, because they have unlimited belief. One day they have to sift through the lies, the sarcasm, and have to believe in God for themselves. They have to realize their own realities and understand their own purpose for their own life. And sometimes their beliefs are limited based on what others say about them.Junior was my caution. He would tie the cape on and you could see that he was going to fly whether we told him he could or could not. He jumped off of high places and landed with a thud. It did not stop him from believing in himself. He kept jumping, skinning his knees, knocking his head, and everyone would look upon him and laugh. He was too little to care about the fact that they were all laughing at him. All he saw was smiling faces and to him that meant that we believed, too.When I was a child I had dreams. I dreamed I could fly. I could stand on the edge of my bed, close my eyes, feel the air around my little arms, and I would jump. I just knew that I had wings. Can you relate? Just close your eyes and think back. You dreamed some BIG dream at one point. You had wings to fly but someone clipped them at some point! Time after time we were put in our place. Each of us was told all the reasons why our dreams won’t happen.
As a parent we see things for what they are and we see the limitations, where as a child does not! We clip the wings of our children’s dreams because we love them and do not want them to get hurt. By the time a child reaches adulthood, they hear “NO” about 150,000 times!
Eventually those little jabs make us stop believing. But those beliefs were not our beliefs.
They were borrowed beliefs!
Those limited beliefs were not ours, they actually belong to someone else whether it was our parents or friends. They projected their fears onto us, Their fears! Not ours!
Eventually we adapt to all our limitations and we realize all the things we cannot do! When Junior figured out he could not fly he started to look at everything as something he could not do. I spent 6 years trying to teach him how to read. Everyday I would sit there with phonics books and go over the sounds. I would pull out letter tiles and we would do reading games and activities to drive the concept home. Every year that passed, there was very little progress. I would buy new curriculums, get on the computer to pay for intense programs to teach learning disabled kids, because I started to believe there was something wrong with him. Each day we would start working on his phonics he would shut down. He would start crying and saying that it was too hard and that he can’t learn to read. There were times he even said he won’t need to learn how to read and it broke my heart. I felt like I was fighting a losing battle. I was frustrated because I thought maybe I was failing him. I started to wonder if I did all that I could to help him.
I took him to doctors, I tried to tap into every resource I possibly could to give him the help he needed. I had him work with specialists. The strange thing was that he excelled in Math and other subjects when books were read to him. He was not learning disabled. He was actually very intelligent. Junior would figure out things that blew my mind. He was very inventive. I started to intentionally observe the environment that he lives in to figure out what could be going on in his mind. I saw other kids in the community bullying him, telling him he is fat and stupid. I saw his own siblings constantly teasing him. They told him he would never learn how to read. He was told he was lazy and stupid.
I sat there and just wept for my son. I could see what happened. I could see that he was held back in his mind by the negative programming he was receiving and believing. Our minds are like computers. Each thought is typed in. And like a computer our mind does not know how to tell if the information is truth or if it is a lie. It just processes that information. Our minds become programmed to believe lies about who we are. Junior started out with believing HE COULD and ended up with the negative concept that HE COULD NOT.
All those negative beliefs and opinions of others caught up with his dreams of flying above the clouds and brought him back down to earth. I determined to reprogram his mind. I started with being intentional with my words. I gave extra encouragement and praise each day. I told the other kids that they needed to do the same. I sat all the kids down and told them that we really need to change our words. It was then that it became evident that our words have power…
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue:
and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.”
All my positive words seemed to go out vain—I had been doing that all along. The other children would say positive things yet with a touch of sarcasm—so that was virtually ineffective. To them he was the annoying little brother and to tell him he is awesome was a joke to them. I had to literally be bossy about that one. I had to give consequences, like take away privileges until they would would treat him with more respect.
Finally, I sat him down and had him look me in the eyes. I told him to repeat after me. “I am smart. School is fun for me. It is easy to learn. Reading is really fun and I am going to be good at it. I am hard working and I love being creative. I love learning.” He would repeat those phrases each day for several weeks. After about 2 or 3 days, he stopped crying and shutting down when I would go to teach him.
In about 2 weeks, he was reading!!!! His brain started to be reprogrammed. Instead of his mind shutting down because he told himself how hard it was to learn, he started flying over the pages of his books. He went from kindergarten level to 4th grade level in a matter of weeks. He is now my most motivated student. He wakes up at the crack of dawn and gets busy doing his school. He is excited to learn and grow. And it all started with his mind!
“For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.”
We are no different than my 10 year old son! Some of you today are walking around thinking life is hard and you focus on all the things you CAN’T DO. You may have been beat down by those around you. You started to believe those hurtful lies about yourself and you borrow their beliefs. You say things like, “I can’t afford that. I am not good at art. I never get ahead financially. I am not a good cook, I burn everything. I am bad at directions. I am fat and everything I eat turns into fat. I am having a BAD day. I can’t seem to get anything done around here. I am so disorganized. I am a failure.” Sound familiar to you? Do you say these things about yourself?
When you are not successful in life, you wonder why. You sadly wonder why you are here and what good you have done in life. Or if anything you have done, matters. That is a sad way to live. I will try to lead you on the path to healing your mind. There is hope. I was there, right where some of you are and I drew my line in the sand and said, “NO MORE!” I am going to get rid of those old programs that were destroying my life and replace them with new ones. I decided to give back others opinions and beliefs about me. They were never mine to begin with. I was just borrowing them for a time. It is time to give those borrowed beliefs back and start finding our own beliefs or believing what God says about us. We can actually find our wings and fly—rise above many things that have been holding us back in life.
Homework for each of you…
Look up every verse in the bible that starts with “I am…” Write these down on a piece of paper. Pin them to your refrigerator or near your bathroom mirror. Read it daily. Please comment below to tell me what you are learning from this study. I am not finished. I have a lot more to share with you, so stick with me!