Saturday, May 7, 2011

I Am Not a Label

My name is Karen.  Label.  I am female.  Label.  I am blonde.  Label.  I am white.  Label.  Black.  Label.  Mexican.  Label.  Democrat, Republican, Christian, Muslim, good, bad, right, wrong, tree, sky, house, dog, desk, chair…..  Label, label, label, label….well, you get my drift.

Just about everything in existence on the planet earth and beyond is given a label by humans.  We’ve done so since the beginning of the human race.  Call it a name, label, whatever.  And for every label, we attach a meaning.  The thing is, nothing has meaning except for the meaning that you give to it.  Which means that in the realm of everything there is to know, nothing has meaning.  

I can’t remember where I read it…it may have been in a Wayne Dyer book…but if you take the labels off of everything, you realize how connected everything and everyone really is.  It’s all one energy.  It’s all the same thing.  It all blends into one another.  After reading this, I tried it.  I focused on everything around me, took the labels off, and it happened.  Everything became a part of everything.  Everything blended.  It was kind of eerie, but at the same time quite amazing and awe inspiring.  It only lasted for a minute or two, but it made a lasting impression. I had a quick glimpse into nothingness and everythingness at the same time.  It’s true.  We really are one with everything.

So, why do we humans have such a need to put labels on everything and make everything separate from everything?  I know, if we didn’t put labels on everything, there would be complete chaos.  Therefore, labels can be a good thing.  So it must be the meaning that we put to these labels.  The problem comes when the meanings separate us from the goodness of everything.  The other problem is that everyone has a different meaning for the various labels.  

We do this with politics, religion, race, color, and all walks of life.  We use labels to separate people and we each decide who is good or bad, right or wrong.  And everyone has their own opinions, beliefs, and perspectives that they apply to their labeling.  Children in school particularly know what it’s like to be labeled.  Nerd.  Jock.  Preppie.  Bully.  Outcast.  And then these labels have a part in defining who we think we are and can stay with us the rest of our lives.  

But if we look through God’s eyes, we see that there are no labels.  God sees us all as one and loves each of us as His beloved children.  The Bible said that we all were made in the likeness of God.  It didn’t say there were exceptions.  Like a parent who has children, part of them is in their children and part of their children is in their parents.  We’re connected.  Same with our creator.  

I guess the point I’m trying to make here is that if people could really see, I mean really, really see how connected everything and everyone is, maybe there wouldn’t be so much hate in the world.  Maybe we could focus on what we have in common, rather than our differences.  Maybe we could actually find ways to get along and bring peace to the world.  

If you take a sample from every single thing and person in the Universe and put it under the most powerful microscope, you would find that we’re all made of the exact same thing.  Nothing.  Yet everything.  Energy.  Magnificent, beautiful, glorious energy.  Loving energy.  All there is.  I love the saying that the Universe is within each and every one of us.  The Universe!  It’s in everything and everyone!  Some may use God’s name and say that God is within every one of us.  The Christ.  Divine Love.  The Spirit within. 

I wish everyone could come to realize their magnificence and how we are all connected.  Once you come to that realization, unconditional love takes over.  You treat people more kindly.  You treat yourself more kindly.  You want to be of service to your fellow beings (animal, human, nature).  You want everyone in the world to get along.  You want peace. Everything you want for others, you are giving to yourself.  What affects one, affects all.

The next time you look at a label, consider the meaning that you are giving to it.  And remember that in the grand scheme of things, it has no meaning except for the meaning that you give to it.  Therefore, we can choose the meaning.  Choose kindness.  Choose unconditional love.  Choose compassion.  Choose peace.  It’s all a choice.  It’s our choice.

(Printed in the Cookeville Herald Citizen Newspaper May 6 under the title “Don’t Let Yourself Be Restricted by Labels.”)



Marilee said...

Excellent article, Karen! Thanks for the inspiration.

Joe Ganci said...

Very good article, Karen. I enjoyed it.

Rev. Denise S. Creech said...

Wonderful article, Karen. Using labels keeps the blinders on; removing them opens up our hearts and minds. Thanks for the reminder.