Last week I had three people in one day tell me how much they hate labels and they refused to be defined by them. But with the next breath they started telling me about aspects of themselves they loved and I didn’t have the heart to point out that they just gave themselves labels. This started me on a very reflective few days as I pondered what ‘labels’ are commonly seen as by people.
Labels are the common terms we give each other: he/she, gay/straight, sheep/conspiracy theorist, Aries/Virgo, atheist/Christian or, my favourite… archetypes.
Mother, Father, Thief, Warrior, Entrepreneur, Judge, Student, Teacher – these are just a few archetypes. The interesting thing I found when I talked to people about their different archetypes, each was happy until they started to feel confined and judged.
If I said a more interesting archetype-like shaman, crone, mystic, priestess or healer for example, then they were more then happy to have those labels. So why do we reject some labels and embrace others?
I looked back through my own experiences and honestly looked at the labels I did not like and wanted to reject. I also observed others and I found we only reject a label if we start to perceive it falls into one of two categories:
1. By having this label it will make us different.
I can understand the fear we have about being different. Some of the worst atrocities in our history have been committed because we fear others different from ourselves. The Witch hunts, slavery and the holocaust for example.
Each of us at some stage in our lives have to face the fear of standing out, being different or facing rejection and abandonment from family, friends or society. In the past I have rejected the label of Healer because I had self-worth issues and couldn’t believe that I could help heal someone. I put Healers up on a pedestal and respected them but beneath the surface I also feared what people would think of me if I stood up and claimed this label. The imposter syndrome at its heart is the fear of owning a label. I have experienced this same fear with stepping up and becoming an entrepreneur.
What would people think of me, all the stories of failure and my fears of having to constantly prove myself to others.
There is a safety in being like everyone else, this is why we see beauty and fashion trends take hold and we all want to look and dress similar.
2. We can reject a label because we want to rebel against what everyone else is doing.
The second category is the complete opposite to the first and it is when we don’t want to be like others.
We want to be seen as individuals or maybe we don’t like some people and its horrifying to think that you could be similar. I used to say all the time my greatest fear was being called normal and I meant it for a long time. But I learned that my version of normal is unique to me and most importantly I shift into the shadow Judge archetype when I do this.
Judging other people by their labels is the very thing I didn’t want them to do to me and I had to release this hypocrisy within me.
The moment we go into judgment of another it is the most useless waste of our precious time and energy. People might think, “Oh, I am so much more then the labels you want to define me by.” I am a multidimensional, cosmic, co-creating sovereign being who works in the quantum realm. Those are all labels my friend.
I think it is far more powerful to reflect every time you feel like you are being confined or limited by a label and start asking, “Why am I really reacting?”.
Is the truth of the matter that you have gone into category one and you are experiencing fear, doubt or self-worth issues. Or have you gone into category two and you are judging others and society for the label they have and you are rebelling against it.
The most powerful things you can do, is own your labels and you choose how you want to be defined. How you want to be seen, heard and known.
Caroline Myss teaches us about the 4 Survival Archetype which are: Child, Victim, Saboteur and Prostitute. Part of my purpose in this lifetime is helping people heal their traumas, patterns and programs in these 4 archetypes. But they are not pleasant-sounding labels. However, if we own them, heal our triggers and understand ourselves on a deeper level, we realise they are not bad. I think that is the most powerful reflection I have had while pondering this topic. We are taught from a very young age to not talk about things we class as negative. We are told as children not to question, let things go and everything will be fine. We are not taught to face our fears, heal our doubts or how powerful we are at reprogramming our brains.
When I turned 18, I voted the same as my father who was very vocal on his political views. It took time to realise, I do not have the same views and values and I am going to have to change one of my labels.
When I was healing my sabotaging patterns, I needed to look at the programs and archetypes that were causing me to remain stagnant. I had a terrible inner critic, imposter syndrome, martyr, shapeshifter, prostitute, procrastinator, perfectionist. These are a huge part of who I was and I still carry some of them and need to make sure I don’t fall into old patterns. I am not ashamed of them. They have made me who I am now and I love the person I have become. So I encourage you to own your labels, those you think are good and those you think are bad. If you find yourself uncomfortable with a label, that is where your higher self and Spirit is telling you to do some healing next.