A very quick way to improve your experience of life, especially during an election year and most especially in 2020, is to train yourself out of using labels.
“Labels are for jars, not people”
As much as possible, avoid labeling individuals.
Whenever you place a label on a person, you immediately attach to that person a whole set of characteristics that come with the label, but which may or may not apply to that individual. You also dismiss, ignore, or make insignificant those attributes this person possesses, which conflict with the label.
When someone you know grows and changes, and essentially moves out of a group you thought they were in, it can be very challenging. For example, maybe a person you know comes out. They are not different, they just revealed something you didn’t know about them. Or maybe they really are changing.
By insisting on a label for your family member or friend, you don’t see the person you knew as much as you see them as a member of a new group. That is what enables one to dismiss (unfriend) people they have known and loved for years. [Now sometimes, it really is best for the one and the other to go their own separate ways.]
Furthermore, because a label limits your view of a person, it limits you! And in limiting yourself, you also limit your experience. Since so many labels, when viewed from the outside, come with a set of negative attributes, using labels limits your ability to see and experience the good in that person.
When you accept a label, which is a packaged thought (“This person is a _______”), you limit what you think. In order to see beyond the label, you then have to make yourself wrong, which doesn’t feel good. If you leave the label off, then you make room for more possibilities.
As much as possible, avoid talking about groups of people via a label.
This one is much harder. We have so many seemingly neutral labels we use to discuss a group of people. These are labels those people might be perfectly fine using to describe themselves. Yet to speak of a group using a label is very limiting.
Here are some of the labels that one might use: Americans, doctors, liberals, conservatives, gays, straights, politicians.
A person who is a citizen of the USA is an American. But when one speaks of “Americans”, they are usually making a generalization about them. As we know from living in this country, we are a diverse bunch.
Here is another example. It is inaccurate to state that, “Doctors agree: blah, blah, blah.” Doctors do not agree. Scientists do not agree. There is no consensus that is 100%. To speak generally thus implies something that is either untrue or unprovable. Even in this day and age, no one has the time or the resources to ask every person in a single profession what they think.
As much as possible, recognize when some individual, publication, or news reporter uses labels to promote their opinion.
It seems to me that when the Nodes of the Moon moved into the Gemini-Sagittarius axis in early May, the arguing of ideas ramped up a few notches. Furthermore, with Mars spending nearly 6 months in Aries (2 down, 4 to go), which is rare, these verbal arguments are moving right into fiery exchanges and even fist fights or worse.
It is convenient to use labels. And we’ll never be able to shift out of this…or at least not for a while.
Every time I find myself thinking or even voicing a label to refer to a group of people, I feel my guides elbow me. It is a bit annoying! Only kidding. I love that they do this. They continually remind me of who I am…who I really am…or maybe who I want to be!
There aren’t many labels that feel good to wear. What I mean by that is, like a piece of clothing, I might like the way it looks on the rack, but when I put it on, it pulls a little over here and is a bit too tight over there.
Even professionally speaking, I have never found a label that really works for me. For the moment, Intuitive Coach is what I’m using, but I still don’t like it. We are all intuitive. I love being intuitive and focusing on my intuition, but by calling myself intuitive, it is as if I am saying others are not. And coach? Ugh. I don’t like that either. Again, it sounds like I am placing myself above someone else…specifically my clients. Most of my clients are far more successful than I am and in many ways.
Maybe some day I will find a title that feels better and fits better. I do feel I have something to offer. Others see it. I just don’t know how to put that into words.
I have opened myself up to diverse opinions recently. I am thoroughly enjoying (most of) the interactions. But every time I see someone using a label to refer to the group they do not belong to, I cringe a little. Not out of judgement. I cringe because I know their label will be off-putting to the ones in that group. Thus the one person’s words and ideas will likely be dismissed or ignored by the other side.
True science (and thought in general) can only advance if some are willing to move outside of the consensus view and suggest something new, then embark the burden of proving it. The others need to be opened minded enough to participate, investigate, to experiment, and either support or refute the original claim.
As soon as there is censorship, the advancing of ideas, knowledge, and progress is significantly limited.
When you have believed something for a long, long time, it is very difficult to let in any data that disproves the theory. But ask yourself this:
Do you want to know the truth? Do you want the whole truth and nothing but the truth?
Make that decision first…and often…then let the Universe take you on the journey. It will be gentle, if you let it. It will give you as much companionship on that journey as you desire, if you let it. Yes, your reality will change. But that is not a bad thing. You will receive far more than you lose.
To close, I will share (again perhaps) quotes I really enjoy.
“Condemnation before investigation, is the highest form of ignorance.” – Albert Einstein
“Believe nothing you hear, and only half that you see.” – Edgar Allan Poe
“Open minded skepticism is the primary tool you will need to maintain a free mind capable of significant and evolutionary progress.” – Thomas Campbell
“You cannot find love in places where you are sure it doesn’t exist. Either open your mind to the possibilities, or look elsewhere.” – David P. Tangredi
“You cannot create peace through war or compliance through coercion. It may appear that way for a while, but the waves of aggression you send out will always return and the very things you seek to defeat will grow ever stronger.” – David P. Tangredi (Scribe to the Pantheon of Rome)
“Do not fear or condemn the misuse of power; neither fear nor condemnation will save you from it. It is only the recognition and acceptance of one’s own power that will set you free of the illusion of lack and suffering. You alone create your experience. All paths lead to Source and all choices are valid.” – David P. Tangredi (Journey to the Temple of Ra)