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Embracing Uniqueness and Uncertainty: Letting go of our need to label others.

Letting go of our need to label others.

Dear fellow students of Earth,

Recently I attended a play put on by 94 parents of the Montessori school I went to as a child. Some of my very best friends and their siblings, who all went to school with me in the 80s and 90s, were suddenly the cast dancing and singing and acting on stage, some even amazingly well.

As much as the contents of the play were interesting and important, my mind could not stop thinking for one second about the people before me. My head felt as a racing car derby of thoughts wanting to be entertained: “OMG, what happened to that guy, he was hot?”, “Is that my friend’s twin brothers…why won’t they smile?”, “Look at Johanna’s husband, he has 2 left feet?”

Suddenly I realized all this judgment going on in my head and I wondered where was it coming from. I started thinking how I hadn’t seen most of them in over 10, 15, 20 years even and all I remembered had to do with some kind of label.

So I started thinking and I ask you as well, have you ever stopped to think about why we feel the need to label people? Why do we put others in boxes to have a sense of certainty and safety in our own minds? While labeling others can provide a sense of order, it can also have harmful consequences.

Labeling people can result in carrying those labels like scars that we don't even remember how we got. Labels can affect us forever, and not in a positive way. Labeling can limit our potential and restrict us from being who we truly are.

For example, when I was a child, I was often labeled as an arguer, someone who always talked back. As a result of these labels, people would often tell me that I would make a great lawyer one day. I started to believe that this was my destiny and that I was meant to be a lawyer. It became so ingrained in my mind that I ended up going to law school and becoming a lawyer.

However, as I continued to embody these labels, I realized that they did not accurately reflect who I was. I did not enjoy being a lawyer, and I felt unfulfilled in my work. It took me a while to realize that the labels that were placed on me as a child were not necessarily true, and they did not define me. I eventually left the legal profession and was successfully able to detach from that label.

However, not everyone does. Sometimes the people that label us can’t shake the label so easily. Why? I think it is because it gives them certainty, it makes them feel safe, safe to have the information the label provides. For example, if they were surrounded by dogs, they’d feel safer if they knew that there is a poodle, a Yorki, a Pug and a Chihuahua. Knowing gives them a false sense of control, it creates a safety net. And our mind binges on safety.

I still receive comments and treatment from people who try to put me in the box of the labels that were placed on me as a child. It is a reminder that if we don’t take responsibility to take off those labels, nobody else will and they can continue to affect us even when we have moved on from the circumstances that gave rise to those labels.

Labeling can also affect entire communities. For example, the LGBT community has been labeled in various ways throughout history, leading to the creation of a variety of different labels. However, these labels can be limiting and do not accurately capture the diversity and uniqueness of the individuals within the community. It is essential to embrace and celebrate diversity rather than trying to fit individuals into specific categories or boxes.

The fact that they keep adding more and more letters to the label LGBTQ….+ confirms to me the need to put people in a box, to label them so we can understand them and know how to act around them.

So, the next time you find yourself tempted to label someone, I invite you to stop and consider the consequences of doing so. Remember that everyone is different, and these differences should be celebrated, not stifled.

Let us work towards a world where we don't need labels to define who we are. A world where we can be whoever we want to be without fear of being labeled and judged.

Until next time✌️peace and love to all.

And remember, if this information resonated with you in any way, if you liked it or you learned something from it, if it made you question something, please share it. Let others experience it… 👊🏼 Thank you!



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