If you have not already read Part 1 of this article, please do so at this time, by clicking on this link: Freedom From Feeling Excluded Part 1
Thank God, through my recovery process; I became aware of how denial had kept me tied to the notion that I deserved to be abused because I was “different”. Through my recovery process, I became aware of my deficits and limitations, related to various factors. Through becoming aware of my deficits and limitations and these various factors, I was and am able to take steps to stop blaming myself for being “different”. As I grew in my awareness and acceptance I was and am able to take steps to embrace what makes me different. By doing so, I was and am able to stop abusing and allowing other people to abuse me for being different. By doing so, I was able to get out of the “box” and stop identifying myself with the label, stereotype, and stigmatization.
Through growing in awareness, I began to realize that I was being bullied by a label, a stereotype, and a stigmatization.
Although I do not like being labeled, stereotyped or stigmatized, because of a lack of information or deliberate ignorance and arrogance (contempt prior to investigation); I realize that I am powerless over what people chose to believe, for whatever reason. What I have also come to realize, through my recovery process; is that many times labels, stereotypes, and stigmatization are thermometers used to justify exclusion. What I discovered through my recovery process is that people who use labels, stereotypes and stigmatization’s to gauge whether or not to include or exclude other people are, they themselves; limited by the expectations and identity of a “box” in which they live which also contains a label, a stereotype, and a stigmatization.
In the event that you find yourself being identified by a “box” that has been created by a label, a stereotype, and a societal stigmatization, I have good news. The label, stereotype, stigmatization and “box” does not have to define who you and I are in this life. We can choose to move beyond the expectations of the “box” of a diagnosis, a label, a stereotype and a stigmatization. We can define our identities beyond the “box” of compartmentalization. Our identities do not have to exist within whatever “box” that a label, a stereotype or a stigmatization may want to tell you and me, my friend. We are not what the label, stereotype or stigmatization may want to communicate us. We are so much more.
If we have people in our lives who feel the need to exclude us — to feel comfortable in their “boxes” — then so be it.
With our understanding, we can practice the principle of live and let live. If people need you and me to live in a “box”, to justify the “box” they need to live in; we don’t have to submit. We can choose to live outside of the “box” of a label, a stereotype, and a stigmatization. We can choose to challenge the label, the stereotype, and the stigmatization by living our lives beyond the identity of such a “box”. We can grow in our awareness of the factors that keep us buying into the notion that we deserve to be abused because we are “different”. We can stop abusing ourselves for being ourselves. We can learn to use what led us to believe that we are different, in such a way; that will both empower both our lives and the lives of other people who may feel “different”.
“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are. ” Theodore Roosevelt
In the process, of living outside the “box” of a label, a stereotype, and a stigmatization, we give people — who find themselves labeled, stereotyped and stigmatized — the courage to be themselves. In the process of living outside the “box” of a label, a stereotype, and a stigmatization, we encourage people –who find themselves labeled, stereotyped and stigmatized — to move beyond the shadows of isolation. In the process of living outside the “box” of a label, a stereotype, and a stigmatization, we offer hope to those individuals who find themselves labeled, stereotyped and stigmatized. In the process of living outside the “box” of a label, a stereotype, and a stigmatization, we empower change in our “world”.
“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Mahatma Gandhi
“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing, you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” Steve Jobs
See my article Beyond Feeling Excluded — Are You Being Bullied? by click on this link: Beyond Feeling Excluded — Are You Being Bullied?
To understand how we get set up to be bullied and how we can find freedom from bullying, click on this link: How I Found Freedom from the “Box and Societal Stigmatization
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