I don’t like labels. There is something about being assigned, but really narrowed, to anything that feels extremely suffocating and restricting to me. Because let’s face it. None of us really fit into labels; we are greater, broader and deeper than any single group, designation or community. We all are too intricate, too complex and sometimes too contradictory to be defined or confined. Labels just don’t work; they are inadequate at best and destructive at worst. Labels are LIMITING!
The main reason I despise labels is that labels don’t honor people. Why? Because no single label can describe all of who you are or all that you aspire to be. No single label can celebrate all of your talents, gifs, and blessings that God has bestowed on you. No one label can comprehensively identify or explain you; you are too majestic for that. You are too unique, too special, too amazing, too awesome to be reduced or fully understood by myopic minds who need categories and compartments to help them understand you. Let’s be honest. Labels make people emotionally, intellectually and spiritually lazy, and labels encourage people NOT to do the work (research) required to challenge their minds and perceptions. Something to consider right?
I have to admit that it took me almost 30 years to appreciate that labels could not contain me, and it took almost 40 years to know in my heart that any label given to me by human beings was beneath the label that God gave me. I had to learn and accept that I was divinely made, and I had to understand that anything that was divinely made could not be fully comprehended and appreciated by mere mortals.
Yes, it took a few years and a few therapy sessions to understand that people could never fully grasp all of me and guess what, people cannot grasp all of you. People don’t have the ability to fully understand you and very few have the desire to really know you. It is the truth……the truth is tight but it’s right!
So here is some more truth: you are amazing and a label, any label, can never capture your “amazingness”. The human language can never completely articulate, elucidate, summarize or capture your divine essence. Don’t forget that!
It is true that when you hear some of the labels that people project on to you, your feelings may get hurt; some labels sting us personally and professionally. Trust me, my feelings have been hurt many times. But then a little voice in my soul reminds me that people don’t have the capacity to understand, comprehend, celebrate or affirm all of who I am. How could they? They don’t know me; they didn’t create me; God did!
Here is the final truth: it is YOUR responsibility to identify and define who you are and who you are not. Even if someone or a system labels you, it is YOUR responsibility to remember that their labels do not determine YOUR reality or worth, only you do. It is also YOUR responsibility to never allow a label to demote you, demean you, deny you or dismantle you – NEVER!
Never forget that only you and God know who you truly are, and if you have not done your own emotional work, you may not truly know all of who you are either. But God knows you. And only God (Source) who is the Great Architect knows you better than you know yourself. So defy labels so you can Dare to Soar Higher!
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Here is a short video about how our “stories” influence how we label ourselves and others.