“See ya later Jen!” The instructor called to me at the end of class.
Our vivacious aqua extreme instructor has known me for over a year. I introduced myself early on. “I’m Elsa.”
Of course she meets a lot of aqua enthusiasts, so when she called me “Jen” a few weeks later, I didn’t worry too much about it. I just casually corrected her. “It’s Elsa – I know you meet a lot of people, but if it helps, think of the Disney Frozen Ice Princess. That’s me. Elsa.”
I thought for sure that would take care of it.
A few weeks later, she saw me leaving the gym. “See ya later, Jen!”
I tucked away my ice daggers and just smiled and waved.
A few days ago, I was chatting with a young mom. Her child had done something naughty and she couldn’t shake that it was her fault. “I feel like such a bad mom,” she said.
Another friend of mine bemoaned after a stressful day, “I’m the worst! I just can’t seem to get it together.”
I’ve done it to myself. “Now that was a boneheaded move! Goofball!”
When my aqua instructor called out the wrong name today, I was resigned. I’ve accepted it as my new name – at least with her. I mean, it does have a nice ring to it. Jen. Short, succinct. A power name that speaks of confidence with a dash of sexy.
But what if she was calling me something unkind? Like how we sometimes speak to ourselves? Those labels that our thought-life spits out: Undisciplined. Bad mom. Thoughtless friend. Lazy. Messy. Failure. Misfit. Outcast. Stupid. Ugly. Fat. Disappointment.
Maybe we’ve spoken those names so long over ourselves that we’re resigned. We smile and wave. Yup, that’s me. And we own it. We take it on.
NO. No, no, no, no.
Stop it. Just stop it.
Anytime one of those ugly labels tries to call out to you in your mind, replace it. Replace it immediately with the truth. Loved. Beautiful. Mom-who-is-doing-her-best (and perfection is overrated anyway, we were never meant to be perfect parents, only point kids to the One who loves them perfectly). Child of God. Thought of and seen. Treasured. Strong. Remembered. Brave. Beloved. Pursued.
And THEN smile and wave.
Because that’s me. And that’s you.