Monday, May 23, 2011

Labels

I was listening to a CD the other day and on it they said, as soon as you/me/whoever puts a label on something/someone you/me unknowingly and automatically put that something in a box – a box that said something/someone can’t get out of as long as it is labeled.
We all do it all the time. We label each other – all day everyday – aren’t healthy because you don’t eat the way I do, not as spiritually advanced as me because you don’t mediate the way I do, not going to Heaven because you don’t believe exactly what I do, not successful because you don’t have as big as house as me, not a real athlete because you can’t run as fast as me – do you see how these labels can hold someone down, can change us if we are the ones being labeled – it can change us unknowing – it is change us into believing this nonsense.

I realized the impact of labels when a friend of mine was talking to me about a friend of hers who has stage IV breast cancer. When she spoke of her friend to me, she would say – she has stage IV cancer also. It took me a minute to connect the dots of also? Who else has stage IV breast cancer?? Oh, I guess I do???

But the thing is, I don’t consider myself to have stage IV cancer – in fact I don’t really even consider myself as having cancer. Yes, maybe in my medical chart I am “labeled” as this but in my heart, in my mind, in my life I don’t – I can’t put this label on myself or on others.

The only time I have even thought of myself of stage IV was the day I was told this and I was handed a nice little brochure of what it means. I handed that brochure to Marci and Gina when we got home from that appointment and never again have I thought of myself as “that.”

Do others label me as “cancer”? Is that all others see me as now?

I feel like as soon as I allow people, me, anyone to label me as stage IV cancer, I am in a box – stuck there with nothing else to do/to be but to have cancer. I am so much more than cancer – I am a wife, a mom, a daughter, a sister, a friend, an artist, a lover, a sharer of life, an encourager and so much more.

I don’t want to be in a box – I am much too restless to stay put in a box.
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