When we're little girls
(or boys, as the case might be)
the people around us teach us
who we are
or at least
who others think we are
but their reactions to us.
If we're lucky,
their labels for us are both positive
and we incorporate those characterizations
into our self-image.
If they send negative messages like
you're so stupid!
how could you be so clumsy?
you'll never amount to anything!
can't you do anything right?
well, we incorporate those lies too.
One of the most difficult tasks
we face as adults is sorting
through the labels in our label bank
and deciding which ones fit
and which ones need to be sent
to the trash heap.
Keeping not only the good ones,
but owning some of the bad ones
that we've discovered for ourselves.
Each of us is sometimes too impatient,
lazy, too quick to anger,
If we don't own the negatives,
to be very conscious of our Shadow side
if you will,
then those Shadow traits often run amok.
On the other hand,
if we don't think that we are
kind and compassionate
smart and capable
loving and worthy of love
then we've lost the very best of us.
As children, we were captive
to messages from those whose realms
we were assigned or exposed to,
whether those messages were positive or negative,
whether they were accurate
or projections of their own stuff.
As adults, we get to
make our own choices.
Decide who we are at the most basic levels.
We get to choose
what we believe
in our heart of hearts
when we say
this is who I am.