In life, we’ll find out sooner or later that we all have labels.
Who gives us these labels? People around us. Our parents. Our friends. Anyone and anyone we meet. It may even be a stranger, whom we have never exchanged a word with. I’m sure this isn’t something we’re new to. After all, from the moment we came into this world, we immediately earned labels for ourselves.
“Just like her mother.”
That ain’t so bad right? You’re right. It isn’t. But it’s a label.
Starting school may well be the first time we aren’t given labels we like. Whispers behind us. Hushed voices. A single word with the power to pierce us like sharpened knives, reaching into the depths of our souls, killing the pure and innocent heart we once possessed.
As we start to think that maybe we’ve found a way to handle these childish labels, we’re given a new set of labels. Labels that, for some reason, find ways to leak into the broken hearts barely mended from a childhood most definitely not forgotten. Like poison. Poison that takes effect slowly but surely.
“How can you be so dumb?”
“What’s wrong with you?”
“You’ll never amount to anything.”
Countless more labels we’ll find stuck on us as we progress in life. At different phases of our lives, we receive different labels. Some are post-its that we ‘lose’ after some time but others stay as though they’re stuck on with superglue. Eventually, they become a part of us, affecting our day to day lives. How we think of ourselves. How we respond to criticisms and insults thrown our way. How we see the world.
I think that it’s beyond saddening that we’re affected by labels others give us, regardless of whether they’re encouraging or hurtful. In fact, sometimes a nasty comment dished out in a moment of impulse etches in your mind longer than a genuine compliment ever will. That’s human nature. But why should that be? Why should we allow that to happen? Is there a way to keep the labels from appearing in our lives?
Every cloud has a silver lining. While the harsh reality is that we can’t keep mouths from gossiping – or even talking for that matter -there’s a way to control situations and our emotions. Sounds too good to be true? It isn’t! There’s this one label that is way more powerful than any other label you have in your life today.
The unlabelled label. The gigantic label that’s been around for forever yet left completely empty by most of us. It’s so enormous that it completely covers every other label on us. This label is of as great importance as it’s size. It’s on this label that we print our honest opinions we have about ourselves. Positive and negative alike. So that we’ll never have to go a day wondering if we’re good enough or hesitating to say ‘thank you’ when complimented.
Start printing on your gigantic label today. Print on your label with ink that never runs dry and permanent markers that mark for life. Deep down, know who you are and guard your heart. Don’t allow anyone to toy with or damage your heart more than it already is. Don’t let the labels define you. Don’t let society define you.
You’re more than a label.