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?