Identity Crisis-Part 2, Labels

“Labeling is a lifetime trigger” -Charmaine J Forde

In the last blog, ‘The Identity Crisis’, we discussed identity, attachment, and ego as well as their connection with the conscious and subconscious mind. In Part 2, we will talk about labels, how powerful a label can be and how it can forever change something.

Usually, our first impression of a label is something like a sticker that is placed on an item or product to identify what it is or any other information that may be related to that specific item. Some of the basic intentions of a label are:

*To assign or identify with a title or name

*To describe and provide details

*To provide an expiration date

*To identify any dangers or warnings

*To provide specific instructions

*To indicate a predetermined location

That is only to list a few of the most used purposes of a label, but basically, anything can be labeled for any reason. You, me and all other humans have been labeled from the day we were born and even from the very moment, we were only a thought before conception. Yes, we were given a name, a nationality, a religion and a place to be raised, all without our permission. And then, as we develop and grow up, we are conditioned and programmed with more labels; where we go to school, what foods we eat, who we associate with, what time we get up and go to bed as well as who we should accept or reject. And not to mention the multitude of labels we place on ourselves as we are conditioned by friends, family, school, church and the world.

This might be a perfect opportunity to pause here, sit back and do a self-inquiry exercise bringing awareness to the different labels attached to you. Take notes and how you feel about each one.

Look back at the list above on the basic intentions of a label and notice how each one could apply to a box of cereal or a human being. It’s difficult to express in words the power and importance of the application of labels which can be used synonymously with identities. Labels are a method of control and are used to achieve a positive or negative result. In school, we are labeled intelligent, dumb, special, nerd, jock, bully, pretty or ugly. And then, in most cases, we allow ourselves to attach to and identify with that label. The rest is history, recorded in the yearbooks and the minds of all our classmates. Even though our experiences through school may affect the rest of our lives, school is only a small part of how we are conditioned by labels.

*We are labeled throughout our careers and each job

*We are labeled in the church or groups we are part of

*We are labeled (sometimes greatly) by social media

*We are labeled by therapist and counselors

*Are health is labeled by physicians and those who care about us

By now, you are most likely able to add many more areas in which we are labeled in life. How does that make you feel? Some may feel like they have had absolutely no control of their lives and where they are today. That may be mostly true, but only due to the lack of our awareness of the control and conditioning we have experienced in our lives. From a very young age, we all normally have a choice in what we attach to or identify with. Even if we identified with being a nerd in school, that does not have to be who we are today. We can literally detach from every label given to us, even if it has become a permanent part of our being. For example, you may have lost a leg or arm in an accident or military service and there is no undoing that experience. It is a permanent part of your physical existence on this planet. However, how we attach to or identify with that physical condition determines who we are and what we accomplish the rest of our lives. There are many studies on how trapped emotional energy is connected to physical health and disease. Visit this article from organicconsumers.org discussing the effects of trapped emotional energy in relation to disease and physical health.

The effects of emotional attachment are briefly discussed in ‘Mindfulness Volume 1’. It describes the power of emotions when related to attachment. Go back and review the diagram included in the last blog; ‘The Identity Crisis’. Notice what areas of our being is controlled by the right brain unconscious self-image. That’s where our emotions lie and directly affect our conscious self-image. Hopefully, you are beginning to link all this together. Although the conscious and unconscious are part of one being, they have definitive, individual functions separate from each other. Emotions may very well be the primary connection or attachment factor between our conscious and unconscious self-image. Notice the experiences you have had and then think about the emotions you had with each experience. Usually, if there were no emotions involved, the experience did not personally affect you much if any at all. However, if the emotional energy was strong, the experience most likely had a substantial impact on you personally.

“Identifying with an emotional attachment to an experience is an underlying connection between the left brain conscious and right brain unconscious self-image”.

Unless we detach from the destructive emotional attachments, they will forever become a potential trigger for an uncontrolled reaction at any time without notice. Think about everything discussed here. It is a great, enlightening subject and may even be part 3 in the next or future blog.

3 thoughts on “Identity Crisis-Part 2, Labels”

  1. very insightful….i continue to analyze my own labels ..those i have taken on myself and those placed on me by others( family, friends, society). I am often surprised to hear a label someone has given me – usually a positive one- and then simultaneously think “Now, does this mean i have to live up to that? “It’s a tricky walk on a slippery slope if the label is also a compliment. I am guilty of siding into the ego at times when someone says “oh YOU”RE Lovie, the artist! i have heard of you and seen your work..it’s so good to meet you!”because it’s such a heady thing to have a reputation precede you. On the other hand, when i hear something negative i also tend to internalize it and have trouble ridding myself of it’s hunger. It’s a process, this shedding of our superficial skin!

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  2. Hey Lovie, I just saw this. Thank you for following my posts. Yes, sometimes the ego can be evil. It insists on controlling our lives with or without our permission. It definitely takes commitment and perseverance to break through what the world has conditioned us to be. It’s great to hear from you, stay in touch.

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