As you sit here reading this, you most likely aren’t thinking about all the labels that are currently scattered across your head.
You know, the descriptive words and tags that signify your current status, distinguishing who you are and communicating to others what you do.
Hundreds have been picked up along your journey. Some will always be with you and others have come and gone.
According to society and the way we live, these labels define you. They give you a sense of belonging and recognition amongst your peers. They essentially form your identity.
They let the whole world know who you are and therefore a perceived sense of what type of person you are.
From the very second you were born you had the first of many labels slapped on your head.
It was your name.
And from that moment, the world would forever be referring to you as this name.
For reference, here’s a heap of labels I’ve either had or still have…
Ben. Brother. Son. Friend. Enemy. Uncle. Nephew. Cousin. Personal Trainer. Employee. Boss. Tradesman. Student. Young. Old. Taken. Single. Successful. Failure. Wog. Skip. Weird. Wonderful. Sportsman. Ugly. Handsome. Mean. Kind. Fast. Slow. Arrogant. Shy. Trendy. Boring. Happy. Sad. Funny. Mad.
You know what the funny thing is? Not one of these labels were created by me.
They were all created by a matter of consequence. And, essentially other people. As a result these labels define who I am.
If you stop to think about it, I’m sure you can now recognise labels that have been slapped on you over time. Some you have embraced, and some you’d be happy to see the back of.
And if you dig a little deeper, you’ll also realise that these labels separate you from everyone else.
Whether we interpret these labels as good, bad or indifferent, they divide us all into certain categories that dictate social status, popularity, privileges and power.
They are stereotypes that create inferiority and superiority amongst us. They then lead to a constant struggle to compete and ultimately survive.
But of course it doesn’t have to be this way. The labels that are put upon us should never define who we are.
All they are and all they should be is a means to communicate with others.
Though we often forget this.
We seem to get ourselves and others caught up in these fabrications that dictate how we live our lives.
It’s like we’re actors or actresses in a play. We wear different masks throughout the show to signify what role we are playing at any given time.
We’re constantly chopping and changing our masks and having to act out our labels just to fit in or be acknowledged. Different circumstances require different masks. And different acts too.
One minute I’m a Personal Trainer demanding intense effort from my clients. The next, I’m a playful uncle at the mercy of my little nephews and what game they want to play.
There’s also a bit of pressure on us to perform the various types of characters we play through life too.
And there’s a certain expectation from everyone else on how we should perform depending what label is on our head at that time.
Granted, some are much easier to play and come quite naturally. And we enjoy the roles we have.
It’s the ones that we feel unnecessary pressure to have to perform we feel drained from.
From observation, and correct me if I’m wrong, but as a result there are a lot of people feeling unnecessary pressure to have to keep wearing different masks throughout their life.
The majority of it causes unnecessary stress and fear and takes away the peace and joy of who we really are.
A lot of gurus out there preach the importance of being in the present moment. They encourage us to let go of attachments, labels and unfulfilling desires and to stop our minds from either living in the past or projecting the future.
They bring to our attention how we as a collective have created a world full of manufactured shit that goes round and round in circles and never ends.
All of this mind made stuff is unnecessary and it’s prompted me to dig a little deeper into it.
I’ve been starting to focus a lot more of late on letting go of things. I’ve been experimenting on this concept and specifically on the labels I have on my head.
To put it simply, I’m curious to know what it feels like to be no-one. No tags. No labels. No name. No past. No future. No limitations. No nothing.
To most people this may sound kinda crazy. It might not make any sense either.
One thing I can tell you though is it’s bloody hard to do.
It’s because we are so attached to our labels that define who we are. It’s hard to let go of them because it feels like you’re losing yourself. Your sense of worth and what you’ve worked so hard for. It’s all you’ve ever known.
It’s kinda scary to let go of. There’s a real fear there. Even with the labels you don’t necessarily like wearing.
Although when you think about it, all it requires to do is be present in the moment. It requires nothing more than that. To not be a label or a certain someone. To just be I guess.
I think there’s definitely a lot of merit in persisting with a concept like this so I’m gonna keep working on it. And I encourage you too. Especially at a time like this where there’s a lot of uncertainty in the world for a lot of people and where/how they fit.
I understand for practical reasons that the labels I carry around will always be there.
But I also need to remind myself that these labels are just for convenience and to help discussion and integration with fellow humans. A point of reference if you like.
I’m also super conscious of those same labels not defining who I am.
It’s so important you realise this too.
Who I really am is nothing that has been mentioned in this blog.
It’s because it’s too hard to describe.
I am what I am. I just am. So are you. That’s it.
‘’If you have a body, we can help you’’
Infinite Fitness Peninsula