I was thinking the other day about how and what I believe about myself…how did that start?
As a young girl, my dad always told me I was the “daughter of a king.” Of course, I knew he meant that figuratively and not literally, for he was NOT a king himself, but we believed that God is our King, and I knew that he meant that I was a child of God.
In my youthful innocence, I believed that I was the daughter of a king. I thought that I was exceptional and I felt loved by my dad. I felt like a princess!
Life’s cruel narrative would change all of that for me as time passed. I began to see myself differently based on things that happened to me and many words spoken to me.
I began to see myself as small, insignificant, and not bright, though my school grades said differently. I began to cower from performance and lost confidence in my voice, speaking, singing, and opinions.
Interestingly enough, I remember the exact moment when my life shifted. I recall when what I believed and felt about myself changed.
I felt sorry for that little girl whom no one protected but everyone judged. I was too skinny; I had big lips; my hair was too kinky; I was not pretty; I could not sing; I could not dance; college was not for me.
These quiet voices lived with me for most of my life. Those labels taunted me when I wanted to step out and do something I knew I was good at and capable of, but I felt terribly insecure.
I share this experience so that we stop telling others what they are not and tell them what they can be. Life is complicated enough without being told by those we trust the most that we are not good enough.
It’s incredible to me to think of how perfect a baby is when they come into this world and how we are quick to place limitations on them the moment they are placed in our arms.
We must learn that labels stick; it may take years before that person can peel them off without leaving any residue.
Be kind to each other. Be forgiving. The person you may one day meet may still be recovering from the residue of a “sticky” label.