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Labels: they shape our lives and divert us from the right path.

From a very young age, we all learn to label. We do it to feel safe, to have a sense of control. If I label something as "dangerous," I avoid going near it. That label gives me a sense of security and guides me in my decision-making. I prefer to avoid a certain street because I perceive it as sketchy and it makes me feel afraid.

When I was told that a boy was "weird", "introverted" and "quiet", I decided to stay away. Why go near him? Surely he's someone "closed off."

When I started working, I knew right away that my boss was "bitter", "single" and that if she ever said a word to me, I was in trouble. So I learned to fear her, to keep quiet to avoid being "called out" by her.

In this way, we spend our whole lives learning labels from others, adopting them as our own without question and creating new labels as we meet new people and places.

Now, as I look back and understand the purpose of labels and why we believe they benefit us, I can see the labels that were attached to me, the ones I believed, the ones I lived up to and the ones I imposed on myself. I can clearly see the influence they had on my life and the impact they had on my reality and experiences. At that time, I did not understand that my mind and I were powerful, and I did not know that I was the one who created my unhappiness.

The first label I remember being given was “spoiled". My tita (paternal grandmother), RIP, used to tell me that often. I bought into it, carried it ingrained in my soul and, as a result, became a very tantrum-prone child. I can even see how as an adult I continued to throw tantrums, in my romantic relationships as well as with my daughter and my co-workers. Although it still happens to me from time to time, I can now recognize it and stop it.

Then I was told that I was an “arguer," that I "had to argue everything,” and that I would make an excellent lawyer. And you know what? I became a lawyer. And until recently I argued with anyone I came across: my mom, my boyfriend, the bank teller, my daughter's swimming teacher, etc.

One of the labels that marked me the most was "rebel". In my home, there were already assigned roles for everyone else: the "perfect" one, the "good" one, the "sick" one, the "crazy" one; every role was taken. And I got to be the rebel. This stage was unleashed during my teens and early twenties. Many of the decisions I made under this label were always accompanied by shame and guilt.

Then there were the labels I imposed on myself, such as being "strong," "responsible," and "independent."

To the world, I presented myself as a child, a young woman, and a strong, responsible adult. I started working as a lawyer in my twenties, which gave me great pride. I earned my own money, I felt independent, I was determined, and I did not pay much attention to the opinions of others. I always had a valid justification for being right.

However, the label that affected me the most and always kept me stuck was "victim". I didn't realize that I had imposed it on myself from a young age, and I think very few people knew that. I didn't know that I could control my environment with my thoughts or that I could change my life by changing my thinking, my attitude and my actions. Much less did I know that my soul had chosen each of the challenges I faced and continue to face, and that all those people who hurt me on an emotional level, on a soul level, were doing me a service to grow and transcend. I grew up, constantly asking myself, "Why me? Why do my parents argue? Why is my father an alcoholic? Why do my friends fight with me? Why isn't my mother around? Why don't they love me? Why don't I have this or that?"

After a lot of inner work, as I realized that all that stuff that was defining my identity was other people's ideas and assumptions based on their own inner wounds, I realized that it wasn't me. I began to peel away layer after layer until I reached my center, a center unknown to me. I discovered potential and love. There I understood that I am extremely powerful, that everything is within my reach and that I alone am responsible for my life and my results.

Today, I continue to heal and discover, removing more layers and, at the same time, creating what I desire: what feels good, what flows, what is aligned with my purpose and values, what vibrates with love, what uplifts me.

And from there, with absolute compassion, I invite you to question yourself, how much of you are you really and how much are labels that others put on you? And how do you imagine your life could be if you remove those labels?

From my path to yours, I salute you. 🫡



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