Throughout most of my life, I have struggled with the labels others have given me. Am I beautiful? Am I smart? Am I creative, cool or resilient? Confident? What do these words mean and why do they matter?
When I was little, it became obvious fairly quickly that I enjoyed reading, writing and anything that had to do with learning. My little sister on the other hand was into clothes and fashion. We were just small girls. I was around 7 and she around 6, but I remember at that age that I was seen as the smart one and she was the pretty one.
This was never communicated directly. For many years, I thought my value, my gift, what I was good for, was only my intelligence. My sister on the other hand has always valued her external beauty above everything else. This caused issues with our self-esteem and primed us for a lifetime of struggle.
Now maybe you were labeled as a child too. Maybe the labels put on you were harmful. They are labels that cause you pain and keep you from growing. How do we let go of these labels that have been placed on us so that we can live and love with our whole hearts?
Here are 4 areas where we can start.
- Our Minds: What are you feeding your mind? Are you filling it with negative thoughts? Are you replaying the tapes of your past and allowing them to keep you stuck where you are? Choose today to fill your mind with things that are positive and uplifting.
- Our Gratitude: Practice gratitude daily by keeping a journal. Write down all the things for which you are grateful for. If you have never done this then you might find yourself struggling at first. Continue anyway. You will find that with practice you will grow. There will be times when you will be overwhelmed by all the people and things you are grateful for. With that, an overflow of joy will come. Don’t believe me? Try it I dare ya!
- Our Community: Are you surrounded by those that are negative and try to keep you down? As Jim Rhon said many years ago, ” You are the average of the 5 people you spend your time with.” As you practice the steps above you will grow and as you grow, those relationships that are toxic will begin to leave. When they do, let them and pursue those that are wanting to grow alongside of you.
- Our Spirituality: Whether you believe in God or not, our spirituality plays a huge role in how we view ourselves and our world. Are you seeking a higher being, someone greater than yourself? Are you living a life with purpose? If not, then maybe you need to ask yourself why and begin your search.
The most important thing to remember as you seek to grow is that your value is not derived from the clothes you wear, how smart or beautiful you are or how much money you have. You are incredibly valuable and worthy of love simply because you are human and you were created with purpose.
Which of the methods above do you practice and how has it helped you grow?