Wednesday, December 9, 2009

About Labels

Often, when something happens in our lives that elicits a strong emotion like joy or excitement, we label this thing that has happened as "good". Likewise, when something happens in our lives that elicits a strong emotion like sadness, hurt or anger, we label this thing that has happened as "bad". The thing to remember though, is that these are labels, created by imperfect humans, that do not speak to the true definition of a thing.

Often, we feel hurt or sad because of our attachments to people and things. There is absolutely nothing wrong with attachment as it is a very natural human thing. But, we have to be able to let go of these same things when the Universe says it is time--and this is where we tend to feel emotional. The key is to remember that the very things that cause us to feel hurt or sad are often things that Life is trying to move out of our way to make room for things that are bigger and better for us. Sometimes we see the end result and have understanding of why Life made certain changes, and sometimes we never know. The key is to acknowledge and accept that we may not be aware of the bigger picture. We have to get to a point where we are accepting of the fact that life is always working on our behalf and that we sometimes cause our own feelings of hurt by working against the natural ebbs and flows (cycles) of Life.

So what to do. First, stop labeling things as good or as bad. Say to yourself "this is the thing that happened." Second, say "this is how I feel about what has happened". You're human--you are going to feel a certain way about it. State that feeling out loud, feel that feeling way down deep in the pit of your stomach, live with it, revel in it, and then let it go. Also, be sure to state that this is how you feel--not who you are. For example, "I FEEL hurt" as opposed to "I AM hurt". See the difference? When you put out that something is a part of your being, you label yourself, and you become that emotion. Emotions are powerful, but they are temporary. Give yourself the power to let them go. Third, be open to change. Life is made up of a series of events, occurrences, challenges, opportunities etc. It is a journey, during which we are meant to do many things, meet and touch many people and embrace a host of experiences. Be open-minded and open-hearted. Be fearless.

The bottom line is that you'll be able to live a much richer life if you refrain from passing judgment on your life and instead embrace whatever comes your way--not as a good thing or a bad thing...just a thing.


GG said...

I dig this. This is not easy to do in a world of labels and definitions. people want to know how to categorize you and when they can't, it makes them uncomfortable. the more confidence you have in yourself the more you will feel free from self-imposed labels, free from imposing labels on others and empowered by mastering the art of just being.

i have to constantly work on this. growing up with an "eccentric" mother, i wanted nothing else but the label of NORMAL! Now years later, I still have to remind myself everyday that I don't have to fit into anyone's definition of normal.

Thanks for this post. I think I needed the reminder.

Tricia said...

I've been learning a lot about embracing the things in life, that includes change and people coming and going. It was really hard at first but now i get it, its part of life..

Anonymous said...

Indeed this is not easy to do. Great post. Have read a it a couple of times now. I need a daily reminder at the stage I am in now.

Chic Mommy, Cool Kid said...

I need daily reminders of this too, and it felt really good to write it out so I can go back and read it to myself whenever I forget. I'm all about letting go of control and embracing change--even if it isn't the change I thought I wanted. I finally realize that this will be the only way to maintain peace.

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