The subject of “labels,” keeps popping into my thoughts a lot lately, so I thought I would start typing, and see what comes out. The labels I am so affectionately referring to <<insert sarcasm here>> are the ones that have been imposed on us, as well as the ones we impose on ourselves! They started, most of the time, before we were even born, often change from time to time, and are ongoing throughout our lives.
The first label is our name, which was given to us by people we just met, our wonderful parents! Having the pressure of being labeled as parents-to-be, they probably spent a lot of time over the nine months while we were incubating going back in forth with each other, reading many lists, trying to come up with the perfect name/label to capture in one word our title that we would be known as for the rest of our lives!
So, our first label started with a lot of pressure to get it just right and we have continued refining that decision by self-imposing many sub-labels to ourselves. It started innocently enough. As babies, we began doing things our parents liked, like crawling, saying incoherent words and then semi-incoherent words, onto actually speaking, eating, walking & going potty by ourselves. They loved all of that and gave us praise. Those labels of praise were the effective labels that inspired us to do more of what we were told, which we labeled as good.
These helped us grow and begin to create the life we are meant to live. These are not the labels that need explaining to understand what they do or don’t do when we adopt them. Let’s label these labels, for lack of a better word, the “good” ones!
The ones we seem to need help with are all the other labels. These are the ineffective ones we accept, believe, and, consequently, try to live up to or down to. In most cases, we are unable to live up to them and that’s what causes problems. The label itself is not bad or good; it’s the energy we put behind trying to live up to those labels that causes challenges. Even calling ourselves a human can bring with it issues, of what is it to be human!
Who decides what a “good” human is supposed to be like? Many people would say God tells us through his word what a human should be. I agree with that, insomuch as the word of God is the word that is in us all and it is our purpose in this life to figure out what God/universe is saying to us.
It does not matter what our parents, teachers, friends, family, media, politicians, religions or even we ourselves say about how or what a good human should act or be like. It is up to each individual to find and learn for themselves, not what a human is, but what we all can BE!
Simple fix… don’t label yourself as anything. Just live and enjoy what you are. Let everyone else try to figure out what that may be!