Learning to be Unbound: Getting Started

Column Post by Lakin Easterling

“Then Moses said to God, ‘If I come to the people of Israel…and they ask me, “What is his name?” what shall I say to them?’ God said to Moses, ‘I AM Who I AM.’” ~ Exodus 3:13, 14 {ESV}

There’s a condition among the human race—one of curiosity, questions, and discovery. We love mysteries; we love secrets. We love to learn why something is the way it is, to have answers when we, or someone else, has a question. We search the sky, the depths of the ocean, the recesses of the human mind, so that we can understand, unlock, and define.

We like to make lists, write books, publish articles, all about the things we have named and learned. There are entire sections of bookstores and libraries devoted to reference books and encyclopedias. We have Google and Siri to answer questions immediately. We have school to teach us the meaning of different subjects, social form, and what not to eat at the cafeteria. We are a definitive race; we are in constant process of making everything make sense to us.

I am no different. I have Dictionary.com bookmarked on my internet toolbar, and I have their app on my phone. I also have a translator app so I can see how English words I love would be written in another language. I am obsessed with discovering things and labeling them, giving them meaning.

And isn’t that a part of how God made us? After all, the very first thing the very first man ever did was name the animals of creation. Doesn’t that explain a lot? We are created to give identity. We are always wanting to know why people kill {we give the label murderer} or steal {we give the label thief}, why the moon is white {we give the label reflection}, or why a child has blue eyes when both of her parents’ eyes are brown {we give the label recessive gene}.

We give meanings to our names that yes, give so much good definition; we need a starting place, our bearings, a compass, to sail out of the harbor. What would we be if not for definition?

Let me ask this: have you ever been hurt by a definition? Have you been labeled one way based on a one-time encounter or first impression that left you wondering if maybe that was the true definition of you, and that who you thought you were all this time had been a lie?

Proud, cold, rude, too rich, too poor, fat, must be anorexic, not a bright girl, too slow, not enough, too much, weak, not her forte, terrible hostess, drunk, wallflower, too loud. The list could go on and on, couldn’t it? The list of definitions, filled with too many words?

What would it look like if we released all definition, and learned to be unbound? What if we started with a crisp sheet of paper? What would you write?

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P.S. We’d love to know your thoughts, so please be sure to comment below. Each of our commenters will be entered in a drawing for our current FREE book giveaway, Mothers & Daughters: Mending a Strained Relationship by author Teena Stewart. 

Lakin Easterling is a wife, mother, writer, and avid reader. She spends her days chasing her toddler, Belle, and conversing with the elderly who are afflicted by Alzheimer’s disease or Dementia. She loves surprise coffee dates with her husband Luke, texting novels to her best friend, Laura Hyers, and being a college student. She dreams about being brave enough to get a tattoo, and believes in the healing power of a good cup of coffee. Her favorite nail polish is Sail Away by Milani. She blogs at http://threadingsymphonies.wordpress.com.

Read more encouraging stories from brave-hearted women here. Be sure to grab your free copy of inspirational quotes and writing prompts while you’re there. (Look over on the right hand side!)

3 thoughts on “Learning to be Unbound: Getting Started

  1. Hi Lakin,

    As a psychotherapist, I so related to your post! You probably would not be too surprised at how many clients I have come to me for the first time with labels they have given themselves, or someone, sometimes another therapist, have given them. “I’m a borderline.” “I’m bipolar” (as if that is their first name!). One of my first jobs is to untangle the symptoms of suffering they are experiences from the person they are. That person has so much strength, talents, gifts. I want to hear, “I’m Linda and I am suffering from symptoms I need help with.” We do like to label things. I”m hoping we quit labeling ourselves and each other. “Unbound.” Now that’s one I can get behind!

    • Linda, thank you for sharing some of your experience, and insight, with us! I think it’s incredible how quick we are to believe negative labels, wounding labels. Why is it so easy to believe those over the good and uplifting ones? I am glad there are women like you who are seeking to put hope and freedom back in the hearts of those who are hurting, and helping them to see the truth about who they are. I can’t even imagine how hard, and yet at the same time, how rewarding that is! It’s good to know there are others living an unbound life. (:

  2. When my son was only four years old, he received multiple labels, including ADHD, ODD, & LD. Through the years, we became accustomed to seeing him through the eyes of labels. By the time my son was 11 years old, he had a poor self-esteem and he did not feel that he was good at anything. I decided to turn the focus off of his weaknesses and labels. Instead, I set out to determine my son’s strengths and God-given gifts.

    I recognized his love of music and had him take guitar lessons at the community college, which led to his transformation. Instead of focusing on his labels, he started applying himself to learn how to play musical instruments. Suddenly, his grades in school improved to the point where we removed him from special education. After transferring to an alternative school in tenth grade,all labels were removed. Independently, he achieved high honors throughout senior high and successfully graduated. It was life-changing!

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