*Warning: naughty language ahead!
There’s this fucked up thing we do as humans—we slap a fucking label on everything.
While I can comprehend that labels help us to identify things—to make sense of them in our minds—they are dangerous to the human spirit and to our connection with each other.
Hell, I’ve even written about simply accepting the label of the “crazy woman.”
But, even though I can accept and embrace certain labels, I keep one little thought in the back of my mind at all times—they do not define me.
“You’re a hippie,” someone once hurled at me; the tone quite clearly implied I should receive it as an insult. A label that clearly meant two different things to two different people.
She meant it as a way to define me as a tree-hugging (don’t mind doing that, actually), weed smoking (not against it, just don’t like the way it makes me zone out), hand holding, singing kumbaya around a fire kind of human (again, I have no problem enjoying a good fire with some song and dance, maybe even a rogue howl to the moon if inspiration strikes).
Granted, this came from a person in the corporate world who clearly had summed me up by the way I dress, the jewellery I wear, and how I advocate to live a life led from the heart. She saw these things as a bad thing; she saw them as weakness—not to mention her grimaces at my tattoo.
She had labelled me based on societal notions of what it means to be a hippie. This is how we kill connection. She’d already made up her made about who I was without having one conversation to find out more about me.
In her defense, I didn’t fit the mold of the company culture, physically.
But then again, Why the fuck would I want to?
I use this as a simple example of how labels often negate the complexity of human nature.
Do I love all of these things? Hells yes.
Does it make me different from you? In certain situations, yes.
Guess what? It’s all good.
The things I love don’t define my intelligence, they don’t define my contribution to the mark I would like to leave on this world, and they don’t define my actions and choices. They are qualities, attributes, and quirks (unless you see them differently; then you may consider them “flaws”).
If I woke up tomorrow and decided to don some high heels, wear an attractive lady suit, and throw out the tree of life rings and necklaces, would it change who I am on the inside? The answer is a resounding: fuck no.
I’d still hold the values and the good that I have taken from the hippie label in my heart because I have assigned them meaning in my life—but they are a part of me; they are not the whole of me.
Labels run rampant in the modern world and affect all spheres of our lives, causing us great discontent, especially if we aren’t solid with our own self-esteem. They cause strife in political situations, religious situations, and they often divide more than unify.
I’ve had friends that have strayed from the path of what their heart whispers as true to them because they don’t want to be labelled a certain way. And yes, there was a time when I found myself consumed by the notion that people would think less of me if I didn’t fit into the picture they had created for me in their own minds; a picture I am in no way responsible for.
It’s a cliché—I know it is—but when we are true to ourselves, our wants, our desires, and how we want to be of service to others, we create an unending happiness for ourselves, as well as the people we care about and the people we encounter.
We all want to be accepted, we all want to be loved, we all want to be valued—and it starts with us saying fuck the labels.
What speaks to my highest good? How do I live a life of true authenticity that honors myself and the amalgamation of all the wonderful things I love?
When we can get that right, I promise you, the world will be a tolerant and respectful place.