or The Power of Words to Define Us
How many of us have been given a label or been called a word and have chosen to allow ourselves to be defined by that label or word? “Lazy”, “Slow”, “Slutty” And how many of us have placed limits on what we are capable of achieving because of the power we have given that label or word? “ADDH”, “Dyslexic”, “Chronic”
Do you know what your truth is? Do you know that simply because someone else holds you in judgement it doesn’t make it true? Sticks and stones can break your bones and words can often hurt you – if you allow them to, when you agree with them, if you make them true for you.
A few years ago, someone called me a monster. Not the cute and cuddly Elmo or Cookie-type Monster either– they threw the word at me, to define me in that moment, in some way that made sense to them. It was an interesting experience. I have to admit, I haven’t been called many uncomplimentary names in my life and as you can gather, it left a mark. Although not the kind of mark the person who said it had wanted. There isn’t a single part of me that believes I am a monster and so the word couldn’t stick to me, nor could it define me or my actions. It did give me a pause however. I did ask myself, “Is there any validity in this word for me?” Because it’s entirely possible that in my understanding of who I am I may have missed an important point. We do it all the time after all. And it works in reverse as well. All too often we receive a compliment that doesn’t fit with the image we have of ourselves “Confident”, “Strong”, “Intelligent” and we deflect the compliment because it is easier to stay in the illusion of our deficiencies “Not good enough”, “ Not pretty enough”, “Not smart enough” rather then own our abilities and strengths.
I’m happy to say there is a happy ending to the question of “is there any validity in this word for me”. I came to the conclusion that simply because the word was used didn’t make it true for me. In fact, I am not a monster. I did, however, discover, when I looked deeply at my understanding of myself, that I am most definitely a Muppet! That’s a label I am happy to own.