Saturday, March 27, 2010

Living Label Free

Labels: I.HATE.THEM.
Shy, Outgoing, Reserved, Smart, Musical, Christian, Funny, Bossy, Bitchy, Lost, Sweet, Dependable, Immature, Irresponsible, Saved, Loving, Gossip, Sinner, Saint…on and on goes the list of all the possible labels we give ourselves, our children our family and friends. I believe labels limit our possibility. When we label ourselves we put ourselves in a box. Good or bad we create limits. We begin to identify with things which are aligned with our label. So often I hear parents describing their children as shy, picky eaters or dare devils. It is important that we remember these are behaviors subject to change at any time, not who our children are. When children are given labels they grow up believing that is who and what they are. They end up in a box without even knowing it and grow into adults who are living a life unconnected to their true self or confused and frustrated trying to “find themselves.”
I think equally sad as parents imposing labels on their children are adults who accept labels others put on them. Sometimes, these labels feel good so we eagerly take them on as a definition of ourselves. When I worked in the corporate world I had many labels. Many of them I liked: organized, efficient, proactive, self-starter, leader. I also had some that were not always intended as compliments but oddly enough I like them too. Ones that described me as a hard ass, take no prisoners, get-it-done at all costs sort of gal. What is so interesting about these labels is when I left the corporate world to be a fulltime mother and home-maker I suddenly had no idea how to behave. My oldest in now 4 ½ and I am just now beginning to feel like I am getting connected to myself, to my true being. I am now learning to just be, living each moment just being who I need and want to be in that minute. Giving up reacting and behaving according to what would suit any label I may wear is hard. It requires honesty, a raw awareness to one’s self that has the potential to be a bit scary. Labels, as much as they bring limits, also bring security. If you take one of those (ridiculous, in my opinion) personality tests and it defines you as “Type A” and then gives you a list of behaviors, you have essentially been given a blue print of how to behave and live. So, there you have it. You never have to think about what to do, just look at your list. Furthermore, if someone is upset, offended or generally bothered by your behavior it’s ok because you can simply explain you are “Type A” and well, that is just who you are.

Living Label Free; My passion, my renewed mission.
I commit to not giving labels to my children.
I commit to not giving labels to my spouse, family or friends.
I commit to not labels to myself, and to not letting others give them to me either.

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