Can You Remember Who You Are --- Before the World Told You Who You Should Be?

Thoughts That Define – Labels That Bind

It is no surprise that we pay more attention to what the physical senses can connect with, and less to what is unseen, unheard and even unfelt.

This is where I believe we have gone wrong.  I am learning that it is the absolute unseen, unheard, unfelt and unknown that I ought to be seeking out first and foremost.  What the physical attributes of our humanity work with is fleeting and flimsy at best in many circumstances.

Think about this business we have called love.  How many of you have never tried to define what is love?  Have any of you been able to successfully define love in ways that would be applicable to everyone and everything in this human journey?  Are there even enough words in any known language to fully describe love?

I think that our efforts to define love are as futile as trying to define or describe air or breath.  We know they are there but we cannot describe these.  I would even say that if we could define love successfully, then we can define who or what is God or YHWH.

Now, let’s tie the two together.  Defining and labelling seems to be a quality and characteristic of the human aspect of who we are.  I doubt very much that our essence Spirit would be so quick to label or define anything.  After all we are created in the image of the indefinable, and certainly not one to whom we could apply a singular label!

Are Labels Necessary for People

When it comes to people and the labels we call ourselves like mother, daughter, sister, brother, etc. there are times when we need to stop calling ourselves by labels; when society has to stop being so quick to label me this or that, just because I “sneeze” like this or “sneeze” like that.

Having worked in the legal profession most of my life, it is strange for me to be writing these words now, because the legal profession based its decisions on precedent cases that have gone before.  If we happened to take a type of case to court, never before heard (unusual but it did happen) then any cases that followed would be judged in line with that precedent setting case and guidelines that lead to the decision (or finding).

But, they were just guidelines and nothing was carved in stone such that the court could not render a different decision.

If I walk down a certain street or frequent a certain section of a city, people will be quick to look at me and judge.  They’ll “ass-u-me” that because I frequent that section of the city I must be an “X” or a “Y”, because those are the only kind of people who would be there.

That’s easy enough to handle on a personal or any level.  But when it comes to the medical profession and how quick we are to label because I’ve met 2 out of 5 symptoms, so I must be an “X” or a “Y”, that leads to some pretty serious consequences.

It ought to be as strict if not stricter when it comes to the medical profession defining a person’s state of health.  Sadly when it comes to a diagnosis of depression I’ve found doctors all too willing to issue a prescription for drugs.  Look at the opioid crisis we are in at this very moment!  How many of those people were given prescription drugs for pain or depression, when alternative therapies would have done a better job at getting to the root of the problem? 

Labels are too quickly applied to people and the repercussions can be serious for the individual.  I know I sure as hell didn’t like being told I was an alcoholic, although in my case I already knew that I had a problem with alcohol.  Once my solution to my pain it quickly became my pain without a solution!

Addictions and Mental Health Labelling

Mental Health StigmaI wrote a piece on addictions and addict a while back, trying to convince the readers to stop calling themselves “addicts.”  I stand by that because what we call ourselves we either remain or can become.  We are convincing ourselves everything we think or speak words, and for me I don’t want to convince myself to remain a prisoner of alcohol.

I suggested we stop saying that, not denying we have a problem but to change our self-talk.  I have no problem telling anyone that I had an addictions to alcohol when I didn’t want to feel my pain, it was my medicine of numbness.  Like I said, the medical profession has defined addictions as a disease and we don’t see people with cancer or any other diseases introducing themselves as “I am a cancer, or epileptic, or heart disease.”

In the field of mental health, I remember being at a meeting in a mental health hospital in Toronto.  We met some of the men and women who were patients and some of them were behaving no differently than some of the men and women I’ve seen in 12 step meetings.  I often wonder if some patients in those hospitals have been incorrectly “labelled” and once labelled no one tries to go beyond the label that has been applied to see if perhaps there is another underlying cause for their behaviours.

For instance, how about someone labelled as having a split personality.  I don’t know if that is the proper medical label, but I think you get what I am getting at using that label.  Well, when I was a drinker I had a split personality:  I didn’t care about anyone or anything.  That is not the person I believe myself to be.  I am a caring and loving person and if anything I try too hard to be the peacemaker and placater.  I do not like conflict and will do everything humanly possible to resolve and/or avoid conflict.  But, fill me with alcohol and I become Dr. Jekyll or is it Mrs. Hyde?

Remove Your Labels – Remember Who You Are

My fellow travellers, remove the labels that have been applied to or by you in your life and simply remember who you are, your true essence.  Then find that essence, and go out and be and do anything you want that is constructive and helpful to you, your fellow humans and this world and universe.

Today I will be a writer for a while, then a house cleaner as I scrub my dirty floors and then a good neighbour as I help the lady next door, and then … whatever comes my way.

Today I have only one personality because I am not drinking.  Today I love that gorgeous lady I see in the mirror and just thinking that perhaps later on today I am going to become a sketch artist, just try it out for a while.

Oh, and I just remembered that a lot of years ago I won a scholarship to a university in piano when I was only 11 years old, but today I am not a pianist.  Today I can’t remember how to play the piano, but I once was brilliant and if I hadn’t sold my keyboard perhaps later on today I might have written a song.

If we must help describing ourselves to ourselves and others, let it be in only beautiful, creative and healing terms.  Heaven knows this world needs more beauty like you and me and the amazing things we write, play, speak, share and do for one another.

In the 60’s it was burn the bras.  Let’s start a new movement which I will call:

Burn the Labels & Be Free!



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