Labeling our food is helpful. It is important to know what we are putting into our bodies. But when we begin to label ourselves and others, it becomes downright damaging.
In placing a label on ourselves or someone else we stop understanding and we lose compassion. These labels are merely shells that contain judgements and assumptions. When we are labeled, we are graffitied by opinions and beliefs – short, tall, thin, fat, painted in obnoxiously bright colors over our conscience and self-esteem. And we wonder why people have narrow vision when it comes to what expansive and extraordinary beings we are.
When we label, we are obscuring the true contents of the individual and we are judging. Everyone does it. Once you identify yourself with a particular group of people – whether it’s social, political, or religious, etc. – then you begin to define the rest of your existence based on this label. You put up your own barriers without even realizing it.
No one knows your story unless you reveal it. A few weekends ago, I was out with some friends – the scars on my arms and legs were very visible. A guy came up to me and very dramatically asked, “What happened?!” I could hear a hint of sympathy in his voice. In my mind, I thought to myself – this guy has totally put a label on me as some kind of train wreck. So I went with it and that is something that I never do – I was feeling adventurous. “Shark attack,” I told him. As those two words escaped my mouth, one of my friends whipped around with a shocked look on her face. I hinted for her to just go along with it. They guy couldn’t believe what he was hearing. “You’re serious?!” I had him going for a good 5 minutes until I told him the truth. Needless to say, I blew his original judgement of me right out of the water. (Pun totally intended right there —> shark attack / water. Wink.)
Having been labeled all my life as a little person, disabled, dwarf or midget, I unknowingly began to label myself as such.
Out in public I have a tendency to create stories.When I see someone staring or just looking at me, I assume that they automatically slap a label on me using one single term regarding my stature. In my mind, I am reducing myself to a one dimensional aspect of the profound person that I really am. This is totally unfair. Not only is it unfair to immediately accuse a stranger of judging me but I am being unfair to my own self. My attention is taken from the here and now and focused on an unknown accusation, causing me to become sad or angry.
How you choose to label yourself becomes an intimate part of who you are. The real power of words is misunderstood. Thoughts become words and words become things. Rather than use them to belittle and diminish, let us use them to encourage and inspire. Our words have the power to bring love, health, abundance, and happiness into our lives and the lives of others.
While labeling yourself as part of a group feels good, giving you an immediate sense of belonging and identity, it also limits you in many ways. You stop thinking for yourself. Instead of culminating the vision that you have for this incredible life you have been given – you become lost. Be a free thinker. Use words to love, uplift and inspire.
Labels are for food, not people.
Can you describe yourself with out labeling?
My name is Kristen. I have little legs and a heart big enough to give love to anyone willing to receive it. My stature or different-ability does not limit me. Laughter and dancing are my happy place. I choose to nourish my body without eating meat. Glitter makes me giddy. I am blessed with jobs that I love and that allow me to live a financially stable life. Strength, perseverance, creativity and humility are all qualities that I see myself possessing. I believe in a higher power that always provides and never gives us more than we can handle.
It isn’t easy but it is possible.
Love without labels.