Labels are meaningless.
So why do they exist?
They exist to create a shorthand for people to communicate, convene, and identify with others. Labels are essential for tribes. They help people declare, often boldly and loudly, who they believe they are, so that people like them can find them more easily.
We want to be seen, we want to be understood, we want to be loved. And perhaps it’s easier to be loved and seen and understood by someone who is similar to us, someone with the same labels. So we take on all these labels, in the unconscious hope of finding meaningful connection with others.
But what happens when the labels stop serving us?
When they feel more restricting and oppressive than empowering and inclusive?
For some, there comes a time when the labels don’t feel quite the same anymore, because we aren’t quite the same anymore.
When you allow yourself to be more than words can express, when you become enamored by the infinite, the unknown, the inexplicable, labels don’t feel so helpful anymore. They don’t feel like an easy way to identify yourself in a group, because one word couldn’t possibly effectively encapsulate your essence. They feel like burdens and constrictions, causing confusion and tension within.
When that happens, people might be tempted to dive deeper into labels, taking on a plethora of identifiers, in the hope that a large collection of words, as opposed to one or two, might properly describe that which is indescribable.
An alternative is to shun labels completely. Let them go, because you can clearly see that attempting to define yourself is an absolutely futile effort. How can you define something that is so dynamic it changes in every moment? How can you explain something that was birthed out of mystery and is incontrovertibly destined to return to mystery again?
How could a word, a made up series of arbitrary sounds, define a walking constellation?
And upon recognizing that your essence is inherently undefinable, why would you continue to force labels upon yourself, when they are not serving you anymore?
Labels might be expected of us, because they make it easy for other people to relate to us, judge us, and put us into boxes. But labels are not required, they are merely expected by those who find comfort in a rigid system.
If you are struggling to find a label that defines you, I invite you to consider forsaking labels completely. Turn them into a game, almost like a child playing dress up. You can take them on when they are helpful, when a shorthand for relating to someone is useful, and then you can freely let them go when they’re no longer of service. Use labels in the ways and moments when they serve you, but don’t mistake a label for who you are.
It’s safe to be labeless. It’s safe to be completely undefined; in fact, it is your truest nature.
If you’re ready to dive deeper into your infinite self, check out these free Akashic resources.