I loathe labels.
Think of all the various labels we’ve placed on people over the years: ADD, ADHD, bipolar, schizophrenic, special needs, disabled… these are just a very minute smattering of tags doctors, educators, and others slap on people to move them forward in their treatment and life needs.
My late husband, an amputee the last 4.5 years of his life, HATED labels (thats a strong word–HATED– but it’s true). He refused to be considered “disabled,” preferring to refer to himself and others with mobility impairments as “physically challenged.” That’s still a “label,” though.
Then there’s Republican, Democrat, Independent, Green, Tea Party, MAGA… sadly, there’s no unity there.
Besides labels, we all have served in and continue to serve in various roles in our lives. I’ve been a wife, daughter, niece, fiancee, girlfriend, elementary school teacher, junior college instructor, newspaper professional, nonprofit development director and consultant, PTA president, and president of this, that, and the other.
These days I am a mother (still a “widow,” and don’t know whether to rejoice or cry, LOL!), grandmother, cousin, friend, writer, speaker, coach, seminar presenter, and yoga teacher. I’m a small group leader, weight lifter, hiker….
Just like you, I have lived many roles in my life, and I’m sure I’ve had labels pasted on my me by others in moments of anger (and I’d be lying if I said I haven’t done the same).
It’s funny… there are those who only know me as a yoga teacher. Others think of me as a writer. Some people know us in only ONE role, and that’s what they attach to us. I get it.
But we are SO much more than the labels placed upon us or the ones in which we have served and serve.
Our various roles in life have helped mold us into who we are, and yet… we are NOT our roles or those labels.
I’ve had a very difficult time in the past detaching from some of my career titles, and I’ve had to ask myself, “Was it the actual position or the title that was so dear to me?” and I know it’s both. When people retire, they may feel useless and of no purpose. The same goes for parents who choose to stay home and raise their children, a very honorable and unpaid “job.”
One of the questions that makes me cringe when I first meet someone is, “What do you do?” I think a better way of striking up a conversation is, “So, tell me about yourself.”
Labels, titles, roles… they may shape us, but they do not nor should they DEFINE us.
Imagine yourself an onion (stop crying… or laughing!). When you peel away the layers that have defined you, you’re left with ONE truth: You are a divine creation of God. Period. That’s your core.
What labels are stuck to you, either by others or from you? What roles have you lived and/or currently live?
Listen, my friend: You are a unique and divine creation of a divine God. Believe it! Own it! Live it!
And if you need some help believing this, contact me. I offer FREE discovery calls to learn about your needs and goals. One of my joys as a coach (there’s one of my current roles/labels!) is helping grow Christian women and seekers grow in the truth of who they are in Christ and living that as fully as possible.
Move forward, you Divine Creation!
Amy Walton is a divine creation of God, and she holds firm to that. Her other most important labels are mom, madre, and Gigi. Connect with her at firstname.lastname@example.org.