Teaching Kids That They're Enough
Perfection does not exist, but being good enough does.
I had the privilege to cross paths with a teacher a few months ago, she popped into my social media feed after being encouraged to listen to a few podcasts that I was a guest on talking about self worth, self love and the road to healing that feeling of not enoughness and unworthiness.
She began to comment on my posts, and began DM'ing me thanking me for my vulnerability, for my voice, and for what I was sharing as this was something she herself was in the season of healing, and my words were making a difference in her life.
Time passed as it often does, but one morning I was guided by spirit ( yes, I hear things, and I now know enough to listen, and follow the intuitive nudges, because ignoring them in the past cost me dearly). So I hear "reach out to her and see if she would benefit from having a call with you". I just sensed the season that she was in from what she was sharing with me was an uphill solo climb, and because I've been there, and it was an arduous journey, I vowed never to leave another behind if I could help.
We aren't meant to do "the hard things" alone, for if we were, we’d be on only ones on the planet. She immediately replied to my offer and said, "but I can't afford you at the moment, but oh my gosh, I would love that someday".
I said - today is someday, and this is my gift to you. Not really knowing where spirit, god, the universe, whatever it is you believe in was guiding me - I just went with the flow. We spoke for about an hour and a half, and a bond was formed. I became a support system, a mentor, the champion that she needed to break through to her next level.
She's a teacher, and in my opinion is the most amazing one that I've had the pleasure of getting to know. You might be thinking ... WOW, that's a huge statement because you know a lot of amazing teachers, but here's why I feel that she's so special and unique. Because she's impacting our future generation.
Let me say that my heart goes out to all the teachers that continued to teach and show up this past year and a half. I know it wasn't easy to talk to mostly off cameras, and trying to stay upbeat and creative while lacking the connection that once existed.
So much has changed, yet the job of a teacher to create a learning environment where all kids feel valued, safe, seen, worthy, enough and are still eager to learn, shouldn't have.
I am so damn grateful that I did not grow up in the digital world that we live in today where young minds are inundated with messages that magnify and expose hatred and injustice.
Where companies are profiting off our low self worth and our fragile mental health. This is even harder for students who learn differently, are different, look different and might need more attention. They are at the forefront of dehumanizing behaviors that make them feel like they're not enough. A good teacher will strive to make an authentic connection and make them feel they belong.
That's Miss P.
She's one of the brave ones that decided to take her work into her classroom with her grade 1/2 students. She openly discussed her struggles with feeling Worthy and Enough in her own life. She started talking about some of the deep thoughtful work that we were doing together - and all of a sudden all the cameras went on, and kids and parents sat and listened with open ears. They suddenly felt seen, understood and realized they weren't the only ones feeling the way that they were feeling. She went on to share some of the work that she was doing, specifically mirror work exercises to help retrain and rewire the subconscious mind.
Our brains learn through repetition, this is why you can remember a song from 20 years ago, but not what you ate for dinner last week.
I asked her to write on her mirror with a dry erase marker, I AM ENOUGH - I AM WORTHY. I wanted her to start to get that in her body, and I wanted her mind to start to accept this as fact. The truth is our brains don't know what's real or imagined, true or false - it's only job is to confirm the narrative we tell it. So if we say things like " you're not good enough as you are, you aren’t successful enough, slim enough, tall enough, smart enough, or you're not worthy of that raise, that relationship, that trip - that home" whatever your limiting belief is, your mind just is like, perfect. Let me show you evidence to back that up.
We think upwards to 60,000 thoughts a day and of those 60,000 85% is negative and 95% of them are recycled thoughts from the day before. So you're starting to get a clear picture why people have a hard time changing. Because they are expecting a different result, without thinking a different thought. Nothing changes, if nothing changes.
What is at the root of not feeling enough, unworthy and undeserving?
It's a belief, an unconscious limiting belief that was picked up in childhood. Maybe you were abandoned, neglected, bullied, abused, or experienced some degree of trauma, or maybe you were just raised by people who didn't love themselves so they had a hard time showing you love. We can only give what we have and what we embody. What happens is we attach a story to our experience and make up all kinds of meanings why it must be our fault. We are wired for connection and the last thing we want is to be abandoned or have love taken away - as a child, that literally equals death.
My mother used to always say to me - you gotta love yourself first. I never understood the power of that statement until I was 44 years old when I realized that I had ZERO self love, and I was chasing my worth in the form of success, people and accolades. But self worth is how we feel about ourselves. It has nothing to do with the letters at the end of our name, the dollars in the bank or the person next to us.
When people feel like they're not good enough, they stay in situations that validate the narrative. They might harm themselves inadvertently and subconsciously. These forms of harm could look like, not dealing with their mental wellness, not eating properly, drinking, using drugs, self abandonment, isolation, suicidal ideations, self harm, allowing other people to take advantage of them because they feel like they deserve it.
This is why in my opinion, teaching children about self worth, self love and reminding them that they were born enough is so important because hurt people, hurt people, and healed people heal people.
A child’s sense of worthiness shapes their entire life.
So Miss P walked her students around her apartment and starting showing them her mirrors while she talked about the importance of self talk. She reminded them that even adults can be a pretty crappy friend to ourselves, and sometimes we need to learn to turn the volume down on the inner critic that lives in all our heads.
Day after day, as she continued to talk about the importance of self love and self worth and how everyone is enough. Mistakes make us human, not unworthy. That we all were born ENOUGH and just because we think a thought that doesn't feel good, doesn’t make them true, and that we need to start questioning our thoughts if they don't feel good in our bodies.
She shared about unconditional love and loving ourselves even when we make mistakes because that’s part of being human. We all make them, even as adults, and that's how we learn. One little boy was quick to point out how she made an error in adding, but she's still worthy, and she was like exactly. It happens, when we can learn better, we can do better.
She had them learn poems on I AM WORTHY - I AM ENOUGH and soon enough, they were standing up and recticing them to her by heart.
Parents started joining in and starting writing words on their mirrors, and the gratitude and the love continued to pour into and out of these daily zoom calls. Her class rate jumped up and cameras stayed on.
Why? Because creating safe spaces for people to feel loved and accepted are key components of building self-worth and self confidence.
My mom was going in for heart surgery in June and these sweet little souls asked Miss P if they could pray for my mom. A few times a day - they would ask again - Miss P can we pray for Miss Amanda’s mom? She’s been so kind in helping you, and we see the changes in you and want to thank her.
And through the power of prayer, and medicine, my mom made it through the surgery without any issues and is on the road to recovery.
School was coming to an end around the same time, and Miss P was on contract, and isn’t sure that she will be back at that school. I asked her if I could gift them all a reminder for them to anchor into their hearts and minds that they were indeed worthy + enough and remember this valuable lesson that this amazing soul taught them, this life lesson that I wish I was taught in grade 1. I wish I had a Miss P. Don't you?
I gifted 23 bracelets to her entire class and here are just a few of the cards that they dropped off to me on the weekend.
I am ENGH I am INUF. Doesn’t matter how you spell it - you feel what they're claiming as their truth.
Did you also notice how they felt free to express themselves, and are pure and loving? I love you's just flow easily and effortlessly from their mouths - how is that possible when as adults we have such a hard time uttering those words? How is it possible that they all shared the same message, but from different homes?
Because they feel worthy of giving and receiving love.
I hope that you remember that you are too. Maybe get out that dry erase marker and let's start healing any part of you that disagrees with that statement.
This is the work that I am proudly here to do in the world, and the mission I will continue to spread far and wide, to whoever is ready to receive it through my Worthy Wands .
We are ALL WORTHY and ENOUGH. Imagine how differently you would approach life and those in it if you believed that too.
Thank you Miss P, for all that you are, and all that you do! The world needs more teachers like you!