What’s Inside Your Secret Lab? When Negative Self-Talk Becomes Our Reality
My two older children insist that they have secret laboratories. My son’s houses a cotton candy machine, talking dog, and stacks and stacks of books about animals. Inside my daughter’s secret lab, you’ll find not only a unicorn, but a candy bar and a swimming pool. Now, not any average Joe can walk on in to these secret lairs. To access Henry’s secret lab, you’ll have to use a remote control to sneak through the hidden door behind his bookshelf. The key to finding Hannah’s lab, is to flip to the last page of Matilda, touch the last word, and a portal (her word) will open.
I’ve tried repeatedly to get these kids to break. I prod, question, and try to poke holes in their story. They won’t budge. Sometimes it’s just plain amusing at how far they’ll go to keep their story together. I recently asked my son if he and I could go into his laboratory together. He smiled and said, “Sure, but we might have to wait, because Hannah broke the remote that you need to get in.” Another day, we couldn’t go inside because “the cotton candy machine was being repaired.” My daughter has cautioned me about going in hers as the unicorn gets nervous around new people, and might bite me.
These secret labs are very real to them. It doesn’t matter that a secret laboratory filled with magical things defies logic. It doesn’t matter that there is no proof to support their claims. The reality of the secret laboratory has become hard-wired in their brain – over-riding the truth.
Believing in a magical laboratory isn’t harmful. (As a huge supporter of imaginative play, I’m actually all for it.) But, how many of us have allowed something imaginary to over-ride reality inside our brain? What lies have we allowed ourselves to believe?
Have you given into the belief that you’re not good enough? It may have started innocently enough. You saw a mother on the other side of the park. Her bag was packed with wet wipes, sippy cups full of ice water, organic wholesome crackers, and science flashcards to do during their snack break. You had been having an awesome morning at the park with your kids – enjoying the sunshine and some quality time spent together. Then, you allowed yourself to compare yourself, and started to believe that you aren’t enough.
That one little idea suddenly began to take over reality – the hard truth that you are a great mom. Before long, nothing could break the story you’d constructed in your head – the story where you aren’t as good as everyone else. It’s real to you. You probably have details and a long narrative supporting your story. But, as much as you cling to the story – it’s simply not true. Just like the secret laboratories, that lie exists only in your mind.
I’m asking you today to consider what false belief are you clinging to? You might be reading this, fully convinced that your husband deserves a more attractive wife. You might feel like you’re not a good mother. You may believe that you’re not worthy of love…of a second chance….of forgiveness. Whatever it is, step away from the “portal” you’ve created. Step back into the world of reality – the reality where you are a hard-working and loving mother – one who wakes up every morning and does her best. Believe that you are a beautiful person regardless of your dress size, the brand on the label inside of your shirt, or how much your jeans cost. Know that you are dearly loved – not only by God, but by your children. You are the center of someone’s universe. You are worthy. You are deserving. You are enough.
And ya know what? I’d say that knowing that and OWNING it deep down in your soul, is even cooler than a secret laboratory….even one with talking dogs and unicorns. =)