Summer is full swing and as I've mentioned before, I take pride in having my yard look nice. It is a big yard full of many varieties of plants and flowers. I love having my favorite varieties of flowers growing so I can cut their blooms and bring them inside to enjoy.
We are at the point in the summer that these plants and their leaves are formed, they won't be producing new leaves, maybe flowers, but not leaves. One plant I have a lot of are hostas. I have at least 10 varieties and it's so fun to see how they each look, but these plants are known for their leaves - some variegated, some ragged on the edges, some with extremely large leaves.
Since the leaves are the star of the show, you can imagine how it chaps my hide when those pesky snails come along and take a bite out of each leaf. They don't just eat an entire leaf, no they take one bite out of every leaf, leaving the plant with holes in the leaves and looking terrible. The leaves are no longer solid and whole. These seemingly small holes transform the entire look of the plant.
We also produce holes in our identity when we create labels for ourselves. When we define ourselves by these labels, we are slowly taking small bites and causing damage. Damage that may not be serious or big, but it still affects our view of ourselves. If you can only see yourself through the lens of those self-deprecating labels, you are not viewing your true, whole self.
So how do we release these labels? Here are 5 steps to starting the process:
1 - Identify what the labels are. These are adjectives you use to describe yourself.
2 - Determine if there are more positive or negative labels. Most likely, if you are feeling incomplete or a lot of self-loathing, there are more negative.
3 - Question those labels. Why did you start using them to describe you? Where did they come from?
4 - This is the most important step. Now it is time to ask yourself if these labels are true? Do these words describe the essence of you? Would you describe another person using those words?
5 - Finally, you need to be willing to replace those labels with some that do not create "holes", but that do create self-love.
This is the process of gradually repairing our view of ourselves. We do not have to remain full of holes all summer like hostas. We can remain beautiful and whole just through the labels we create for ourselves. Isn't that great news?!