The Fly Lady: Let go of the labels and FLY!

Fly Lady column by Marla Cilley

FLYing is all about Finally Loving Yourself. When we can see past our blemishes and love the heart and soul of us, we will be FLYing!

Our whole lives, we have been labeled by our family. We grew up hearing that we were lazy and stupid. We were also accused of never being able to finish anything. Now we hear it from ourselves. As a result of hearing these negative words, we have been brainwashed to actually believe them.

Pam and Peggy coined the label SHE – Sidetracked Home Executive. It was a cute label; it helped us to identify with each other. I guess some labels have a good purpose. But keep in mind, labels can become crutches, too. We use our labels as excuses to whine. Whining is not allowed, not even with the preface that this is not a whine, it is just a fact. To me it is still a whine. I get the same reaction when someone says trust me! My first thought is to watch my back.

Now listen very closely. We are not our diseases! I have said this before, and I will continue to hammer this home. We may have problems that have names, but they do not take over our soul. We have to learn to live with them, but we do not become the poster child for it. Having the knowledge can help us adapt our lives to deal with problems, but you can’t give in to it by taking it on as part of you.

You are you, when you accept yourselves and love the inside and not look at yourself with distain then you are beginning to open up your wings to FLY!

This past week, a dear friend’s feelings were hurt by her mother. I have known those hurt feelings. For years, I suffered with an ex-husband that never let a moment go by that he didn’t let me know that I was fat! I was a size 10! All he ever saw was fat. Now let me tell you something. It has taken a lot of years to get over his low opinion of my worth. No longer do I see fat or other imperfections in my body. I know that they are not me. Yes I have more Body Clutter to remove. I didn’t gain that Body Clutter in a month, and I am not going to lose it in a month. I love me, and as a result I carry myself with pride. Last night, Robert and I talked about labels as we snuggled into bed. Another aspect of this is we are not our jobs, either, but that is another essay.

It is all about attitude. When you love yourself, you don’t need or want the strokes you get from your family for anything. They may be nice, but your whole being is not based on whether your husband complimented you on your appearance or on the house. This is why I reinforce taking care of yourself and your home for you.

I want for you what I have; Peace. This peace came in babysteps. You can do this. I know the pain that you have suffered from the mouths of people who love you. I have heard those condescending words, but you have such a pretty face. We did a survey of our membership; 80 percent had weight issues. I want you all to quit letting the world shape the way you think about yourself. You may have to turn off the TV to stop the brainwashing. This is why Leanne and I wrote our book, Body Clutter; Love your Body, Love yourself.

For more help getting rid of your CHAOS, check out Marla Cilley’s website and join her free mentoring group at, listen to her, or read her books, Sink Reflections, published by Bantam, and her New York Times bestselling book, Body Clutter, published by Fireside. Copyright 2008 Marla Cilley. Used by permission in this publication.

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