I follow a group called “People of the Second Change.” It is a global community of activists, imperfectionists and 2nd chancers committed to unleashing radical grace every day, in every moment, for everyone. The message the past few days has been about labels. Here is a small piece from today.
Labels are a violation.
Somewhere, sometime, someone spoke words over you, and their lies and violation cut deep. You believed them, and became painfully labeled and shamed.
Today, it’s time to identify the label maker, the person who we allowed to label us. We are going to stare down that shame until it dissolves into the nothing it is… no label stands a chance in the light of our worth.
We are going to put a name to the wound… we can’t truly heal till we know why it’s there in the first place. Who said it? Who put the label there? Was it once? Over and over again? Either way, it was carved into us. We are going to choose to be free from the lie of the toxic label, we are going to choose truth.
I work with a great life coach, Kathy Murphy PhD and she helped me see that I have continued to believe the lies about myself. I needed to find and live my life from the truth. It is a message I am hearing over and over in my life.
As I child I lived with the labels fat, under-achiever, bad, stupid, scaredy cat, ugly, dummy, and crazy. Some were labels from other kids while the adults in my life used some of them as well. I breathed them in and they became my identity.
As a young wife and mother, I heard the labels stupid, just a woman, lazy, dumb, failure, ignorant, frigid, worthless, and more. I added them to the list of who I was. As I started to change some of the labels changed. Some of the labels held some truth-drunk, alcoholic, druggie, and others that aren’t appropriate for this blog. Interestingly enough, even after I got sober and started a new way of life some of those labels followed me.
As I began to find my courage and my voice, I chose new labels for myself. I became a feminist, courageous, understanding, compassionate, writer, friend, good mother and grandmother, seeker,and wise woman. Some people question those labels. I question them myself as much as others do some days. I surround myself with people who will encourage and nurture my truth. As I grow stronger, the old labels become fragmented and weak. My truth pushes them aside and takes their place. The wounds heal, but the scars always remain.
Do you label others before you know their truth? What labels do you still carry with you? What has helped you overcome your labels?