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What defines us?

What you do does not define you!

Who you are at your core and in your soul is what makes you…you.

We all seem to be so caught up in the habit of labeling ourselves and putting labels on others.

We use our roles in people’s lives…Mother/Father…Daughter/Son…Wife/Husband…Friend…

We use the labels of our jobs and careers…Teacher…Accountant…Landscaper…

And sometimes we even define ourselves by the absence of a label we wish we had…Artist …Dancer…Mother…

These labels are boxes we squish ourselves into to explain who we are to the greater world, to provide the comfort of an immediate sense of familiar “knowing” for those we meet or interact with. We put a safe sticker of who we are.

I’ve come to believe that it is a soft trap that can keep us from straying too far from society’s expectations of us. It keeps us within what is considered “normal” and grants us broader acceptance.

I really think it can keep us walking a narrow path.

Deviating from the accepted labels can take us on another less traveled path where we can feel uncomfortable, more open to judgment, and misunderstanding from those around us.

The truly big question for me, at least in the last few years, and poignantly in the wake of identity fraud is…

Who are we when the labels are stripped away?

Changing careers, losing jobs, our evolving roles in our loved ones lives can strip away or change some of our comfortable labels.

I think it is a very real and human tendency when we lose one label to immediately and urgently grasp for another…to reach for the comfort of the “definition” it gives and provides for us and others.

When we are stripped of a label through outside forces…or even our own choices…like losing a loved one, or leaving a job, we can feel like we are lost…untethered…less…

I know in my heart this is all societal conditioning. The belief you have to be “something”.

The truth is we are already something!

But…finding our definition within, and knowing our innate worth doesn’t keep us trying to fit in, buying things, taking courses, ever searching outside of our hearts for worth, love, fulfillment…acknowledgement.

What if the whole point is to be centered and whole with no need for a defining label…to unchain ourselves from the imagined safety raft labels provide.

Ahhhhh…sweet freedom…

So much easier to allow ourselves to transition… grow… evolve… in our lives.

…just my thoughts today…

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