Label Yourself!

by James A Lopata

Label yourself!

Sticks and stone may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.

Remember that schoolyard saying?

The truth is that naming possesses extraordinary power — not only to hurt, but also to heal, enhance, and benefit.

I recall how empowering it was when I finally accepted the label “gay.” I felt free. When I finally let myself say, out loud and proud, “I am a gay man,” I experienced such incredible relief. That one label — “gay” — that I thought would be one of the most horrible and debilitating designations I could ever conceive of, became the entryway to one of the most exciting and fulfilling chapters of my life.

When done right, labeling is not about pigeon-holing, it’s about release.

“I am 48.”

“I am business executive.”

“I am a gay men’s life coach.”

I once resisted saying these all words. Once I fully embraced each statement, each propelled me into a new freedom and a new happiness.

What label might you be avoiding for yourself that could potentially free you?