Labels don’t define us, they limit us. It doesn’t matter what label we align ourselves with. For example, we may decide to identify with the label of environmentalist. One the face of it, this seems to be a good label, a positive and proactive label. But is it really?
To declare we are this or that simultaneously sets us in opposition to all those who do not identify with this label. We establish a polarity and as a result, a tension ensues. We give others something tangible to oppose and fight against. Of course, being a guardian for the planet and a passionate activist is a noble thing. But, would it be more effective to engage with life on a moment by moment basis?
If we could cultivate an open, watchful and observant stance, perhaps we would benefit. Labels tend to funnel our thoughts, feelings and values down a narrow path. Whereas standing fetter free, we open ourselves to respond from a position of freedom and without preconceived responses.
Why do we need labels? Do we feel incomplete, vulnerable and unfinished in some way without the overlay of labels? How about feeling into what we are in essence without tags to inform others of who we are? Could we handle the humility of starting from scratch with every interaction? Could we/should we allow ourselves to be defined and then loved or rejected based solely on what we bring to the present moment?
I’ve been trying to imagine who I am without labels of any kind. It’s a disorientating exercise, but I think that’s because it’s not something we ordinarily do. When everything is stripped away, who am I? I am that I am. To be there with that. To be there with that and resist the urge to add anything…