I struggled for a long time with living up to certain expectations – sometimes my own and sometimes expectations from outside influences. I still do occasionally, but as I’ve grown I have learned to let things go and that includes letting go of labels that I don’t want. We could go waaaaaaay back to my youth. I was bullied at school. I didn’t realize this was called “bullying” until I was much older – I just thought this was part of life. I was a “fat kid.” I had been overweight even in elementary school. I also had some pretty messed up teeth and had been called “bugs bunny.” I was smart (thank God I had something going for me), but kids on the school bus called me retarded. All of these are “labels” and as a healthy, intellectual adult with a gorgeous (albeit expensive) smile, I don’t hold on to any of those labels. None of that defines me. I think sometimes we get caught up in putting ourselves in categories that we can forget that we are all unique energetic beings.
Today, I can acknowledge labels that I’ve earned and can wear proudly. I could also easily associate myself with labels that I don’t want, but I know that would be doing myself a great disservice. The point I am trying to make is there is POWER IN YOUR CHOICE. It’s often the labels that we are ashamed of that we hold close and allow to hold ourselves back. I use to want to “fit in” in certain stereotypes in an attempt to find a sense of belonging and now I know that I can be both complex and simple and that living authentically has given me a better sense of belonging than “trying to fit in” ever did.
I may have been victimized, but I am not a victim. I wouldn’t put victim on my business card. I have been addicted, but I am not an addict. I have lost, but am not a loser. I have F****D up, but I am not A F*** UP. It can be as simple as deciding what you will or will not allow yourself to be associated with. We are not defined by our past. We are not defined by mistakes we’ve made or things that have happened to us. We can let it go. You get to choose what labels you want just like you get to dress yourself every day. For me personally, I am a lover. I am beautiful. I am a boss. I am an inspiration. I am a light. I am a woman. I am a coach. A sister. A daughter. A girlfriend. A teacher. These are the labels I choose. You get to choose yours too and you don’t need any validation or permission to decide who you are going to be. You just have to make the choice.