Reflections and questions
This post won't be particularly uplifting. I'd apologize, except I believe moments of introspection and reflection can be particularly cathartic and can bring healing if we let them. At least that's what I've heard. =)
Remember the childhood saying "sticks and stones may break my bones but names can never hurt me"? What a load of crap! Words sometimes make the best missiles and they leave scars that no one else will ever see. The tough part is, you can get to the point where the pain has lessened and you think have moved on. Then something happens - an event occurs, something is said, a disagreement happens - and those words come screaming back at you out of your memory with all their original pain.
How does one really move on? How do we really remove the power of those "labels" so that they fall away ineffective? That's the tough part. Those names only hurt because we let them. The cutting remarks others make, the labels they try to place on us would have no power over us if we simply refused to own those labels or remarks.
I'm reminded of a Max Lucado book, You Are Special, in which the Wemick's, a "race" of puppets, go around giving the beautiful, talented members of their society gold stars. The less attractive, clumsy, graceless Wemick's get plain gray dots. One day the main character, a rather unremarkable character named Punchinello, meets a girl Wemick named Lucia who has neither gold stars nor grey dots. Truth be told, she's beautiful and graceful so she should be covered in gold stars but she has nothing! The other Wemick's try to give her gold stars but they fall right off. Punchinello asks Lucia why the stars don't stick and she tells him that he needs to talk to Eli to understand. Eli is the creator of the Wemick's and Punchinello, though a little frightened, goes to chat with him. As Punchinello leaves, Eli says, "You are special because I made you and I don't make mistakes." Punchinello thinks to himself, 'I think he really means it' and the illustration shows one small gray dot dropping to the ground. Is it really that simple? We just choose to believe "other" than the labels that people try to saddle us with? I wish I could figure it out!