Earlier this year in church, the pastor said something that made me pause and take note in my notebook: “Ditch the labels that are fables.” To be honest, I can’t remember the exact context of the statement in regard to that day’s teaching (sorry, Travis!), but I took away the quote as a reminder to myself in my health and wellness journey.
I’ve realized I label and talk to myself a lot. Not in the ‘Is that person in my grocery aisle talking to someone via their EarPods or just talking out loud to themselves?’ type of way. But, rather, in my head. And sometimes that self-talk isn’t kind, nor is it TRUE. I think that’s why Travis’ statement stuck with me: it was that ‘aha’ that the negative labels I use – the things I call myself – are FABLES.
I think that’s why Travis’ statement stuck with me: it was that ‘aha’ that the negative labels I use – the things I call myself – are FABLES.
Here’s one label example. One Tuesday – a day I usually work out – I didn’t exercise. Hadley was at preschool and I took that free time and did something else with it. Even though I didn’t want to work out that day, I still beat myself up about it. I felt as if I didn’t do something I “should” have done; I felt somehow not as accomplished that day; I felt “lesser than.” If I summed up my feelings into labels, it would have been “worthless” and “failure.” You may think, ‘oh my gosh, that’s so ridiculous’ that I would think that about missing one scheduled workout, but that’s my reality. And here’s the challenging thing: these labels are sneaky. They infiltrate your mind sometimes without you realizing or even paying attention. And after awhile, little labels become big labels and they weigh heavy on your psyche and overall wellbeing. When I sit back and think of this one example, I know the labels I gave myself ARE ridiculous. My worth does not come from hitting the gym and being toned. I am worthy on my own and need to give myself a break.
Maybe you don’t have the struggles I have when it comes to body image, but I bet you have struggles in another area of your life where you give yourself labels that are fables. Maybe it’s in your job, maybe in your relationships, etc. I challenge you to pay really close attention to your thoughts and try to identify when you’re labeling yourself. Then ask yourself if it’s a fable. If it is, DITCH IT!
More resources: Oprah’s SuperSoul Sunday Podcasts (in particular, episode #6 with Michael Singer: “Free Yourself from Negative Thoughts.”)
Amy (@belovedbody on Instagram)