Labels shape us, our human culture and our history.
Labels help us make sense of the world around us, differentiating who and what is safe to engage with and, at least from our own frame of perception, who and what is not.
Yet, labels also cause us to lose perspective.
When misapplied, labels covertly subjugate our individual human qualities. We become indifferent to the difficult art of seeing rather than objectifying.
Labels are at the root of social control because shame lies dormant within the kernel of each label, no exemptions.
The list of labels we choose to wear and project can be extensive. Labels signal to us and others both what we are and, by logical extension, what we are not.
Yet whether self-imposed or given to us, labels limit us.
Labels can be worn like a suit of armour, the plumage of peacock or a burden. The weight of their significance is proportional to our level of emotional attachment to them.
Setting aside our labels often presents a challenge to our ego and, sometimes, our identity. When we resist it’s because one or more of our labels are woven into the fabric of our self-worth.
Letting go requires courage, humility and practice.
So I wonder, which of your labels are you willing to wear more lightly today?