Good Morning Beautiful Friend.
How are you my Precious Daughter?
You are so Creative!
You’re a Worthless Loser.
You are such a Clumsy Jerk!
How can you be so Stupid and Ugly?
You did a Wonderful job!
How can you always be so Generous?
You’re a Valuable team member.
You were an unwanted Mistake.
Why are you so Useless?
Get lost you Freak!
Your insight is so Important!
You are Amazing and Special.
How did you become such a Kind Leader?
We know you’re just Lazy.
You’re an Ignorant Imbecile!
Why are you such a Bully?
What have you been called?
What names have you been labeled with?
When I was a child, there was a boy, a few years younger than me, who was called “fat”, everyday, on the school playground. One girl started the name-calling, then, because she had some perceived “power”, other children joined in. It was a downward spiral, and the last time I saw this man he was still wearing the scars of growing up (and shrinking inward) being publicly humiliated.
The bamboo wind chime has more of a clunk, clunk sound than a clang. It’s softer—the hollow places embrace and invite in the wind. We’re like that wind chime—absorbing what others say (or neglect to say) about us, and to us.
Sometimes, we’re able to let that “air” blow right through us, easily disarming its power. Sometimes, the air blows right past us, not even reaching that inner place. Sometimes that air gets stuck, and we choke up, or blow up, or give up.
Negatively labeling others is one of the human/inhumane ways people deal with their own insecurities and weaknesses. By attempting to minimize someone else, they feel better about themselves. They don’t have the ability to fill the enormous void that’s crying out for love, so they make others feel “less than” in order to feel “more than”.
•Sadly, we’re often labeled in ways that break our spirit—inviting us to believe that we’re without value.
•We can be labeled in ways, too, that make us feel as if we could never live up to that expectation.
•And, sadly, we label ourselves—making it next to impossible to believe we are anything except that name. After all, if we believe it about ourselves and live with that label long enough, we become the label.
dumb • worthless • miserable • fat • liar
sinner • hopeless • ignorant • unlovable
words that have power
words that are life draining, rather than life-sustaining
I won’t even get into the racial, sexual, ethnic, or disability slurs that are meant to insult, marginalize, and dehumanize others. Ignorance, hate and fear bring out the worst in so many.
Because of labels, we sometimes “forget to remember” what we hold deep in our spirit—the knowledge and truth of who we truly are.
Labels can be like little sparklers that children light on the fourth of July. They catch your attention for a short time and then fizzle out. Labels can be, too, like big fires that start with embers but grow larger and larger, fueled by all the dry wood of life until they consume you.
When we have only heard the negative, but not been lifted up by the positive, our lives become a quest to prove others wrong or right.
“I’ll show them that I am worthwhile!”
“Well, I guess I am a loser, if they all believe it.”
No matter how old you are, or how many years you’ve spent knowing yourself only through the eyes of others, begin an open door policy:
invite yourself in,
invite in people who see the value in you,
invite in those who bring out the best in you,
invite in your spirit.
If you have been the victim of angry, hurtful, demeaning names, please know that when those labels were given, it was at a time when someone wanted to wound you or belittle you—a person who had so little love for self, that it was impossible to love you.
If you grew up without anyone lifting you up, start the journey anew. Believe in yourself. It’s never too late to recreate. Keep a clipboard handy. Every time you’re aware of even one small positive part of you, write it down.
Remember, always, that you are not the labels given to you throughout your life.
Yesterday was my husband’s sixtieth birthday. Friends celebrated Larry on Saturday night. The house was filled with laughter and joy. Yesterday morning, “Happy Birthday” was sung to him at church; there were hugs and well-wishes and more joy.
The rest of the day, he was honored at home with family. Erin, Sara and Tim bought him a new, awesome, grill. He received presents from our grandchildren and me. Text messages and emails came throughout the day and he received over seventy birthday cards!
The weekend labeled him by his roles in life: father, grandfather, husband, sibling, uncle and friend. He was labeled in many other beautiful ways too. I thank God for those reminders for him, and I wish the same for you.
I hope the coming week blesses you with what your heart yearns for, and what your spirit needs to hear. I pray that the days ahead call out—reminding you of who you are at the core of your being: special, important, valuable, beautiful and loved.
©peace full home™/intentional living
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