Burn the Labels

Who are you?

Ask anyone that question, and most likely, you’ll get one of a handful of answers:

Most people will list their profession, or what they do. I’m a doctor, lawyer, teacher, actor, student, etc.

Others will list something they’re known for: I’m a volleyball player. I’m violinist.

They’ll spit you their label. As a society, we’re obsessed with them. (Hello…hashtags, anyone?) But they’re attached to us. And many times, we can become attached to them. We can link our identity to them.

And here’s some #RealTalk for ya: You know what else is a label? Anorexic

When you’re recovering from anorexia, or an eating disorder, let’s be honest here: from a “labels standpoint,” you’ve got the deck stacked against you. Why? Because we’ve been wearing our disease on our bodies – our skeletal frame was a walking advertisement – a billboard – a label in itself – of the interior battles we were fighting. And so, naturally, we’ve been labeled by others as “that anorexic girl.” “That girl who doesn’t eat.” “That freakshow.”

Hear me when I say this: You are NOT who other people say you are.

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Their words don’t have power over you. You don’t have to let those things define you.

You are so much more than that,

And YOU decide who you are.

So, who are you?

The answer to that question is entirely up to you. And choose your words wisely, because your brain listens to how you answer it – and believes it.

If you listen to those destructive labels, don’t be surprised if you start believing them. It’s the power of suggestion, folks. How many times have you thought,

Of course I’m going to fail at recovery – because that’s who I am. I’m “that anorexic girl.”

Or

Why should I even try to recover? No one is ever going to see me as anyone other than “that sick girl.”

I know I’ve thought that once or 20 times twice.

You’ve gotta just feed those lies to the dogs. Rid them of your vocabulary. Because they’re toxic thoughts.

I hate the term, “anorexic.” It actually infuriates me, because it’s such a definitive label. It’s like, once you get labeled with it, you’ve got it branded on your forehead forever.

“She’s that anorexic girl.” WRONG.

I am a person who suffered from anorexia. I am NOT an anorexic. You are NOT your illness. And neither am I.

Yes, I had that illness, but it is not who I am. It is not who you are.

I refuse to be labeled. I am whoever the hell I want to be.

Who am I?

I am a friend. I am a daughter. A sister. I am an adventurer. I am a master of silly accents and spontaneous dance parties to old school N’Sync. I am an outdoor enthusiast. I am I am a lover of banana soft serve ice cream. I am a witty banterer. I am who I say I am.

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I am me.

I cannot begin to describe the amount of freedom there is from casting off all the former labels in my life — All the negative shadows that had been following me around. They do not define me. They do not have power over me. Not anymore.

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And maybe you’re not in a place where that seems possible yet. Perhaps you’ve been listening to the hurtful things other people have labeled you with, and you’ve believed them for so long, that they hold you in bondage. I know I did.

So how did I burn the labels that were keeping me from knowing who I truly am?

I had to listen to who God says I am.

I know, I know. I’m “going there.” But I’ll keep this short.

God has the ultimate say in who I am. Why? Because He made me. And He made you, too.

And spoiler alert: He doesn’t make mistakes.

God tells me who I am.

He tells me, ‘You are a new creation. The old has gone, the new has come.’ (2 Cor. 5:17)

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The labels of my past – shoot, guys. I’ve done burned the crap out of those things. Thrown those ashes to sea. They’re long gone.

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I am now the one to define who I am. Not anyone else. Only me. Only God.

Who am I?

I am a daughter of God.

The question is, who are you?

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9 thoughts on “Burn the Labels

  1. Love this! It’s so easy to get bogged down in descriptions of ourselves, especially when we’ve come to identify with it. Others EXPECT things, certain actions, from us when we’re associated with a label. And then it’s almost as if we’re obligated to play that role. Familiarity breeds contentment, but we don’t have to be who other people claim we are! We don’t even have to be who we were two days ago! We are who we want to be in the moment, and we are HIS.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh my gosh I love your comment. How eloquently put, too! You have so much wisdom, MK. We are His. And we are who we are right now. His opinion is the only one that matters. “An audience of One” 🙂 thanks for stopping by!

      Like

  2. This post reminds me of this song. I tend to be the one that keeps myself in bondage by continuing to live under the labels I received throughout life. What an awesome reminder that I can be who I say I am and who He says I am! Hope you enjoy the song! Thanks again for another great post.

    Like

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