Freeing Ourselves From Labels
Humans are obsessed with labels. I’m not talking about designer labels. I’m talking about labels we give each other such as: “she’s a very kind person”, “he always does the right thing” or “she’s selfish”. I think the reason we label one another is to quickly process and identify who others are to us and who we are to them. But that is a very superficial way to know each other. We are not labels on a bottle. We are complex and complicated.
What ends up happening with all this labeling, is that we internalize these as absolute statements and turn them into our identity. The thinking goes like: “I’m such a kind person and so I’ll always do things for others and put them first”. “She’s such a good person. She’s always putting others first.” So when sometimes we take a position that is perceived as in opposition to others two things happen: 1 – others are shocked because according to them we are behaving out of character and 2 – we feel out of sorts because we are not behaving like our labels.
Either living up to other people’s expectations or the label we have accepted to define us, is a heavy burden to carry.
If we don’t want to be limited or imprisoned by these expectations we need to start the wave of change from within.
The first time we go against our label might feel uncomfortable. But if we want to be free to be ourselves we need to breathe through it and keep asking ourselves which is more important: to fulfill other people’s expectations of us or to be free to be ourselves. If we act according to our inner wisdom, then there is nothing to fear.
Looking back, you realize that a very special person passed briefly through your life, and that person was you. It is not too late to become that person again. ~Robert Brault,