Labels … just labels. Have you ever wondered how empty you really are? Or let me rephrase, have you ever wondered how much you’re carrying around? Everyday we get 60,000 thoughts. Apparently, that’s 1.8million thoughts a month;) Holy Molly! I did the maths just now, and am as shocked as you!! But we cannot count how many of these thoughts carry labels. We carry this baggage of labels with so much pride. As if they are meant to enhance our lives.
Labels. Yep! They can be quite cheeky!
Do I hear you say that you don’t have any labels? Think again. You do. Have a little browse and a couple of clicks later, examine your bio. osdotme bio or any bio of yourself for that matter. The amount of labels which you may find in there could be shocking. Go on. Go check, am not looking.
Over our lifetime, we seem to make it a duty to attach ourselves to labels and stories. And the funniest thing is that when we have no label, we want one! We ask for one, we crave for one, we demand one! How crazy does this sound? The journey of life itself is about becoming naked, well not literally. But it’s about letting go of our coverings, yet what do we do? We cover ourselves incessantly with new things. And no, I don’t mean clothes (I do miss shopping though).
If you’re wondering what I mean by labels, it’s simple. Almost any word we associate ourselves with or tag ourselves as, is a label. Whether that’s the label of daughter, child, mother, brother, father, Seeker, unworthy disciple, boring person, lazy student, failure, useless, smart, strong etc. The list could go on and on.
You see, the problem with labels is that they are self-assigned or often assigned to us by society. Labels give us a sense of identity and security. We have something to fall back on. But there’s two sides to that coin, as much as a label is attached to good things, there are also added responsibilities to each label and most of the time, these responsibilities are defined by society or those around us.
The problem with labels is that they give rise to pretence. When we give ourselves a label, it’s added baggage and as time goes by and we continue being true to our label, we forget who we truly were. This mask we wear to live up to our label hides our true self. But unfortunately we can only discover ourselves if we bare all; label-wise, of course. Some labels cannot be avoided, as they already exist e.g. son/daughter/parents or wife/husband. But why add more labels? We carry so much baggage as it is, yet we want more labels. Other than labels which we assign to ourselves, we are also fond of labelling our relationships. Some of us crave to give a label to each relationship we have, whether that’s marriage, friendship, discipleship, professional relationship etc. But it’s truly liberating to shed all these labels.
That’s the whole point of spirituality, I feel. If we cannot let go of our current labels, we can at least avoid adding more labels to our lives. In all honesty, I no longer know how to sign or to introduce myself anymore. I refuse to use labels because they are just heavy. We just are. People just are. Relationships just are and most importantly, love just is.
The purpose of life is to empty ourselves, to shed all these labels and uncover ourselves so that we can become love. The beings who were in the most blissful state were gopis and as Swami says here (1.30 onwards), they never labeled their relationship with Krishna. And I am sure most of us would agree that when we think of gopis, we immediately think of divine love and bliss.
So go on! Have a look at your bio, your introductions, your sentences and discover those labels within them.
Here’s a secret. I have become so mindless that I’m struggling to think of labels, so help me out, share some labels with me! Let’s have fun!
One of mine used to be “I’m quite boring” Ding ding ding ‘boring’ has been found!;) Now it is: I am.
Your turn! Truth and Dare: Go on! Let’s play! 😀