I remember so many of the words and labels that have been used to define me. Some have been good, others not so much.
In junior high, I was a cheerleader and that labeled me. I was also told I had a “big butt.” That stuck with me into adulthood.
I have been labeled because of people I’m related to, where I went to school, what roles I’ve taken in life (stepmom, writer, wife) and my interests. Because of things I’ve been through in life, people have told me I’m brave, creative, sweet, anxious, and wimpy.
Some are true. Some are not.
As I remember, as you remember your childhood – what have you let define who you are as a person? Do you still carry those words said to you by someone else? Even if they might not be true?
I was watching a video clip recently of a man trying out for the “X-Factor” on television. He was so scared that his arm was shaking and he was crying. Someone had told him he shouldn’t sing. Do you know what? Once he started singing, he blew the judges away. He had an amazing voice! It was really, REALLY good. And he was stunned that not only did they like him – but the crowd liked him and unanimously voted him through. Why? Because he let someone else label him and he believed it.
Not just anyone has a right to tell us who we are. We let people speak into our life that have no right to. They may not have good intentions. They may not see our heart. And yet we let words define who we are, not just in a moment, but for our whole lives. We let them hold us back from becoming who we are really meant to be.
Sometimes we let an image define us, as well. We live in the past of glory days and fail to take hold of our present. Whether that’s good or bad, it’s not a reflection of who we currently are. It’s only a part of what has molded and shaped us.
Be very careful about who you let speak into your heart and life. Don’t let just anyone label you or define who you are. For you could go your whole life believing and living a lie.
It’s so easy for us to slap titles on others for seeing only a part of what makes up their character and persona.
Use your words wisely. And use your ears wisely as well when receiving words from others.