Updated: Jun 30, 2020
Why does our culture find it comforting to assign labels to behavior or emotion or status? Do people feel better naming things? Does that provide some sort of safety blanket or a way of shelving judgment, detaching from needing to know more about a topic? Or maybe we're wanting to control it by slapping a title on it. Or a ring, according to Beyonce. Guess we buy in to the 'you gotta name it to claim it' mentality as if that will heal us. Why does a word like cancer create extreme emotional stress? Labels can send us right down a rabbit hole.
Some people are naturally more sensitive than others. Part of the challenge of our life experiences is to allow those emotions to be affecting, as they might naturally be, instead of suppressing or ignoring them. Most of us can feel an array of emotions at once. A select few may feel none at all. For example, having a moment with an extraneous outburst of self-justifying expletives doesn’t mean you are an angry person. Feeling jealousy because you’re watching your partner be sized up, lapped up and then subsequently devoured predatorily by a nearby set of pupils three barstools over doesn’t mean you’re jealous by nature. Let's not confuse character traits with emotions. These labels as self-identification are harmful.
I get the medical diagnosis labels after all, if you’ve matched the criteria markers for diabetes then by western allopathic medical standards you are rightfully labeled diabetic which in turn allows access to treatment. It is our medical model which addresses symptomology, and we have adopted protocols for our labeled dis-eases. But are those labels helpful? Does it help us attach a fix for dealing with whatever others determined we are, or have, or feel. Do we need to be diagnosed and become a statistic in order to shift behavior or process traumatic events? What about the Placebo effect (another label)? Aren't these labels limiting? Even marginalizing? They feel restrictive. Im questioning the psychological value of labels as a means of systemic control. Im sensing an ego component. Perhaps a way to individuate, discriminate, or stat. Maybe a sprinkle of entitlement because there's plenty of that to protect. Point is, let’s stay precisely outside the range of needing to be classified in order to fit in where it may potentially cause harm. Let's intentionally stay ahead of the speculative ignorant safety blankets that might pigeon hole our freedom to be and feel and heal. Truth is we don't have to 'put a ring on it' to matter. We don't need the labels more than our liberties.