About Labels…

Be a person and not an adjective!

Me

labels can be damaging; so can we get rid of them?

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People will label you no matter what you do. I remember many times when I was younger when I was the head “cook and bottle washer”, in giving unflattering names to my numerous victims and afterward go about my business content with my lot in life. Today, I realize that I hate labels. I dislike intensely when persons view me in a particular way and expect me to be that way for the rest of my life – this from a girl who is indecisive about what I want to eat, wear, be and the list is endless. The irony is, I accept their typecasting because unlike when I was younger, what people thinks matter to me. So, we assume the labels given to us because we suddenly realize that people don’t want you to be yourself, they want you to be what they want you to be, no matter if you like it, yes or no.

So what can we do?

I really don’t have THE ANSWER.

All I have is the belief that we need to unlearn some of the most damaging things we have learned and practice as we get older since; one those things is our acceptance of being labelled.

I realized today that I was thinking one week behind the actual date!

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I had always told myself that I can’t concentrate and really cannot focus on anything for long and I believe that this is catching up with me. So when the end of December came I did not register that it was not the last week of November even though I had seen the calendar; my mind did not catch up to the fact. I have also said for many years, that I have a problem remembering names, and guess what this has gotten worse over the years! Another case involves my hearing. Since high school I have been telling all who would listen that I have a hearing problem and you guessed it, it has gotten worse!

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The labels that others give us can be damaging – even those that seem good too – but that is not makes them stick. When we belief we are those labels then they become true. So do I have a hearing problem? No but my ears have gotten lazy – I guess it was tired of me always putting it down. Do I lack the ability to focus? No, but I have taught myself to be that way.

I heard and then read a story of a trans man, Lee Harris, who wanted to reverse the procedure, after being on an 11 years journey to becoming what he thought he wanted to be. The story appeared on the Metro website in 2018 and again on the BBC website, in November 2019. The point is that Lee/Debbie saw a new identity,a new label, as a savior from years of trauma as a result of being sexually abused as a child. However, gender reassignment did not provide the new lease on life sought. Instead it resulted years later in a desperate cry for help to change back into what he was trying to run from; the true self.

For us labels can seem good. they may elevate us in the eyes of others and we may have a sense of belonging; but, if we decide to change in anyway, those same labels may imprison us and create more problems than we can deal with.

It’s easy to assume labels: we fail at doing one thing out of everything we did right and suddenly we are failures, or incompetent or stupid and it becomes impossible. We need to learn not to be a part of the hype in order not to be destroyed by it.

If you don’t want to be stuck, limited or misrepresented forget about the label and show up as yourself. All of you. Be a person and not an adjective!

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Tell No One

I have decided that I will no longer be telling anyone what I want to achieve or plan on doing – yet here I am telling you that I will stop doing what I am currently doing- telling you what I’m not suppose to tell you I am going to do.

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Here goes.

I have, in the past told others what I planned to do and guess what? Half or more have still not been achieved. Telling them did not motivate me to accomplish them, in fact I stressed myself out so much about completely everything within a certain deadline that nothing got done!

It became – and still is- irritating when they continually asked, ” aren’t you done yet, ” with this or that, as if I had invited them along for the ride.

But wait! I did invite them.

By telling them about my plans, I now realized I made them a part of it. I did give them permission to butt in and ask me questions about the things I said I would do. Whether out of curiosity, or genuine concern, for better or worst, I had made them a part of that journey.

Well no more, it’s too much pressure!

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So moving forward I will be travelling solo, and information will be shared on a NEED to know basis.

When I feel I absolutely have to share something, I will write it down in a journal. Yes, journaling will be my way of getting everything out that’s about to burst out of me.

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MY NEW REALITY

The truth is telling everyone what you plan to do or want to do is taking time away from actually getting things done. Plus, it is somewhat narcissistic! Whether or not people know what you are doing does not diminish its value.

There are people who feel the need to do so for what ever reason, but their reason does not have to be my reason or your reason or anyone else’s reason!

I am going to be like a caterpillar that cocoons itself until I am ready to transform and take flight. It doesn’t matter who sees or knows because I will.

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It’s time for me and everyone who does this, to stop telling people what we want to do and let the results speak for themselves.

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Mountains Behind Mountains.

Deye mon, gen mon

Haitian Proverb

The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles

Psalm 34:17

When I first came across this Haitian proverb I didn’t know what it meant. So I decided to find out.

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So this is my finding: when you overcome an obstacle or difficult situation, don’t get too comfortable, there is another one waiting for you to conquer. Now this could be a disappointment because we all love happy endings. However, as we all should know by now, real life is not that fantastical. You get rich, okay – more money, more problems. You finally get that dream job after burning the mid-night lamp. Okay, now you gonna have to burn two! The point is, once we get what we want, it doesn’t mean that it’s smooth sailing all the way.

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We can think of it as the mountain being a measure stick of how much we can tolerate. Imagine, the highest mountain in the world, Mount Everest, is 29,029 feet tall or 8,848 metre. So far eleven persons have died trying to reach its summit. While this is terrible, there are many eager climbers, professional and non-professionals alike, waiting to take their chance. For those who make it, it is not necessarily a daredevil feat nor the status and prestige that comes with success. For some it is a confidence in the abilities that they can overcome any obstacles waiting for them. It is this confidence that will get them up there and down. It is a confidence that will later see them tackling many more mountains.

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So now that we know that our mountain top experience is not the end, can we be confident in tackling those other mountains waiting for us to scale? Reaching the top of a mountain should not be driven by hubris -well i don’t think so. It should bring into focus, what’s important, it should not only be a chapter you can now close, but an awakening to the limitless potential still waiting to be realized by tackling yet another mountain. In passing the “death zone” of any mountain you conquer should make you realize that nothing is impossible. You stood on top of that mountain you faced yesterday and then mountain yet to be climbed tomorrow, will also be conquered.

Just remember, those mountains will give you a good workout. They’ll make you stronger!

Letting Go

Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.

Isaiah 43:18

Don’t wait for a new week, a new day or the new year to start making changes. You know what you want and you know how to get it!

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There are a lot of things in the past that in the past I have been stuck on. Sometimes I look back and which I could go back to make some tweaks here and there. Perhaps prevent a certain meeting or totally erase another. If only I could.

But sadly there is nothing we can do about what we have already done. But wouldn’t life be easy in the present if we could?

We will never know because it is impossible. While we focus on the past, our present is passing. There it is waving at us. It looks sorry for us- as it should, what a waste of a present!

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Yes the present is a gift that will keep giving if we remain fully committed to it. Yet, many of us are careless with it and are either looking behind or ahead, but never living in the present.

We hurry to do everything and then wonder where the time went. We hope that one day we can get to live in the present. However it has been there all along, slipping between our fingers until very little is left to enjoy.

It’s important to remember what matters, let go of what is keeping you from holding to the present that you have for as long as you have it.

Image result for The meaning of life is just to be alive. It is so plain and so obvious and so simple. And yet, everybody rushes around in a great panic as if it were necessary to achieve something beyond themselves.

What A Way To live!

If you take yourself seriously you will be offended the rest of your life

Deepak Chopra

Imagine if you lived a life that was totally free from worry about what others think and say about you? What if we did not what for things or people to make us happy? What if we try to find our own joy?

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I say easier said than done!

When someone looks your way or seem to, you begin to wonder what they see when they look at you and then a full blown script has been written and performed in your brain because you just don’t know how to take being criticized. I can say that because sadly I have been doing a lot of this lately.

You are at the mercy of every stranger you meet on the street, if they say something nice you’re flattered for the rest of your life and if they say something nasty, you’re offended for the rest of your life.

Deepak Chopra
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Sadly again we become so fixated on getting approval from others that we deny that we are doing it when we do it! Many – not all- cannot relax in any situation because our sense of well being is too dependent on how people react to us. We depend on the approval of others like how a drug addict depends on drugs to get a high. If the reaction is good we are on cloud nine but if it’s bad we are hang out limbo, waiting to see if we can redeem ourselves in the eyes of those who just rejected us.

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So let us make a conscious effort not to take things so seriously, after all we are all playing with the hand that we were dealt. Many people dish out exactly what they see of themselves. So often it’s less about us and more about them. None of us are perfect, so really there is no perfect answer to any question or solution to a problem. Just do you, live your best life because there is nothing else you can do. Just put one foot forward and go about your day.

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Strength…

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Inner strength is an experience that leads to a sense of peace and having a sense of well-being. Being strong is hard especially when others do not expect you to be. We can easily allow situations to overwhelm us to the point where we cannot move forward, because we only can see the path we left behind. When we would rather stay in the happiness of the “good ol’ days”, then we can say forget being strong and just be complacent.

I have had to be strong many times. The first was when my mother left me behind and I, out of sheer terror ran behind her only to be beaten back to my new home. I had to learn to live without her. To only see her once per week and sometimes months in between. I felt like an orphan.

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I had to learn how to be strong when my grandmother, my second mother, died the day before my first exam, in the first year of university. When I had to attend her funeral I made sure to cry before and not during it. I had to be strong when I was told after the first year that since my grandmother’s death the little money available to me to go to school, had evaporated over night. I had to be strong, when Mondays to Fridays I went most days at school eating very little or nothing at all because I did not have enough for food and bus-fare. I had to be strong when all it seemed I was working for was not to leave university without a degree. I had to be strong working from 6:00 a.m to 7:30 p.m Mondays to Fridays each summer, after her death, so that I could have some money to go back to University, even with student loans. At least I had a way out.

And once I left I thought, ” well, I no longer have to struggle, once I get a job” – how Naive! I lost my strength many times since then and from most of life’s hard knocks I have not recovered. But I still have to be strong in order to get back to my true strength to meet my true true self again. So I can say hi, hello, how are you to the girl I once knew.

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Prayer For My Ego

“If a man thinks he is not conceited, he is very conceited indeed.”

― C.S. Lewis

When ego gets in the way, as my granny use to say, ” all hell bruk loose”.

A prayer for my Fragile ego

Heavenly Father,

I pray for my ego when it gets so out of control that it takes me away from reality to a far far place where no happiness can be found. Help me to remain humble, when everything seems to be going my way, so that I do not become a pest to everyone else. Let me remember that what I gain I can also lose in the blink of an eye. May I never take for granted the importance of everyone – and I mean EVERYONE – I meet in high high places and low low ones especially. Finally Lord, may the wrong never become right nor the bad become good; let my heart, mind, spirit and eyes never become blinded by material gain.

Amen

Image result for The ego is your self-image; it is your social mask; it is the role you are playing. Your social mask thrives on approval. It wants control, and it is sustained by power, because it lives in fear. If you want to reach a state of bliss, then go beyond your ego and the internal dialogue.

A lot of the misunderstandings, anxiety and fear that we have stems from an ego in crisis and many of us do not recognize this. Sometimes our problems do not stem from external forces but begin with how we see ourselves. When we feel as if the world has turned its back on us, hey it could be because we first turned our back on it! It could be that we never gave people the chance to give us a chance and now at the end we feel cheated from really being a part of something.

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We allow ego to take the reigns when we feel the need to always be guarded and never trust – not even the old lady down the road, because who knows what secrets she could be hiding; it doesn’t matter that she can barley get around much less carry out a plot to harm us. And God forbid we should have a streak of good fortune, that is when some of us really start acting crazy!

It’s really hard to always keep a reign on criticizing, judging – even when we aren’t ones to talk – comparing and generally finding fault with everyone and everything around us – as long as we get the blame off of us. When we are too consumed with gaining recognition and always being first, never helping someone who may outshine us, then we have allowed our ego to grab the reigns. This can be a disaster for us.

When we realize or “buck up” these flaws and before we try to crucify ourselves, we need to take the time to acknowledge our very flawed humanity and take back the reigns of control. Life has both the good and the bad after all, and each of us is no exception. What we should always strive to do, is to somehow ensure that the darkness never wins, though it is always there just lurking to take control. We must never allow this to happen.

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