The other day I had a picnic in the park with my friend Gesi. Gesi is an extraordinary woman who has the biggest heart I've ever known. Lately she has been doing some work on her internal empire (see post entitled "Building Your Empire") and I was lucky enough to hear a little bit about her progress.
She told me about this concept she has discovered that revolves around how we define our identity. The concept is this:
We all walk around with a metaphorical pen and a pad of sticky notes. When we get close to someone, sometimes we give them the sticky notes and let them write down what they think of us and stick them on our skin. We let what they said or thought cover us. We let other people read them. It can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
But the cool thing is that sticky notes aren't permanent.
We can shake them all off. We can take the pen back into our own hand and write down whatever we want. We can write messages of resilience and bravery and kindness. We can write down stories about the times someone made us feel important or strong.
And we get to decide who else we give the pen to. If you give someone that privilege and they end up writing something you don't think is true, you can crumple up that sticky note and throw it in the garbage.
The best part is that you always have the opportunity to reevaluate your sticky notes. Maybe you'll write one, decide it isn't true, take it off, and write a new one.
You know what? That's life. We're all just humans who are constantly trying to figure out who we are.
What do your sticky notes say? More importantly, who are you giving the pen to? Do you believe what they're writing? It's ok if you don't. You can always shake them off and start again.
Featured photo for this post by Tyler Chase Manuel