Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Have You Been Labeled?

At some time or another, we’ve all been labeled. 

Please understand that I’m not referring to a diagnoses or prognosis, I’m talking about a definition or description of some aspect of your personality, behavior or appearance.

As a child, my aunt Geraldine called me, “The cutest little red-headed girl from the projects.” As far as I could see, I was the only one.

 My sister Chris called me “hedgy,”, because no matter how tight she plaited my hair, by the end of the school day, that wild mane of red hair would stand straight up like a hedge bush.

I’ve been labeled as the “saved” girl, the loud girl, that smart girl and believe it or not the quiet girl. I’ve been the young one, the old one, the funny one and the “woman with all them kids.”

Sometimes, even when you don’t want them to, labels can stick. When they do, they are like the adhesive from a hospital dressing and are very difficult to remove.

Labels can become a self-fulfilling prophesy; which is like telling someone to watch out right before you push them down.

When you believe that thing that’s been said about you, your behavior will follow. If at any time, you choose to believe something else, that label falls off and that prophet’s mojo is rendered useless.

The source of the label and prophecy does not matter. The prophet can be a minister, a parent, a husband or wife. When you believe in your own ability to change, grow, evolve, you can be free.

So get to seeing and believing something new, because this red-headed-hedge from the projects believed herself around the world.

Be you, be well, be new.

Bertice Berry, PhD.

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