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Labels

… and why you don’t need ‘em

“I’m an introvert”
“As a creative, I’m…”
“I’m pissed the damn hell off”
“I’m a no-nonsense character”
“I’m ugly”

The word ‘I’m’ has a lot to answer for. It insists that something else follows it. A description. A label.

It is what separates us. It is what highlights the ‘otherness’ in us.

The feeling of ‘I’ that we have within us craves this stuff. It has an incessant, interminable pursuit for something to identify with; a separator. It needs something to attach itself to, so that in the eyes of the world we are seen to ‘be something’.

What this ‘something’ is will often be irrelevant. Whether it’s to be depressed, be a doctor, be anxious, be rich… the ‘I’ within us identifies with these labels to the extent that we become them — that is to say that we have an identity through the use of these labels.

The ‘I’ within us is in a constant state of autopilot. It grasps at thoughts and develops emotions that we are simply just a witness of. It reasons in a manner which suggests that without all of these ‘somethings to be’, there will be nothing left. We will be nothing.

Consider for a moment the idea that thoughts and emotions ‘happen’ to us, and are not authored by us. The phrase “I wish I didn’t feel this way” serves to crystallise the automatic, impulsive nature of our emotions. So what, then, does it mean to identify with these emotions?

To some, it means insanity. To many, it is normal life.

The point is, that we need not be the ‘I’ we identify with. We will always ‘be’, even without this thing we call ‘I’. So then what power does ‘I’ have?

True dominion over oneself comes with awakening to the fact that you are the conscious awareness behind the ‘I’, and thereby escaping the clutches of its egomania.

You’ are beyond the labels, beyond the thoughts and beyond the emotions. ‘You’ are the presence that can acknowledge, interpret and appropriately deal with all of that in the moment, not blindly identify with and internalise it.

This detachment from identifying with ‘things’ external to us, and the realisation that all we have to do is ‘be’ can liberate our real sense of self in a transformative way.

We are not, and have no need to be something.

We just are.

Written by Jonathan Christie
Inspired by ‘A New Earth’ — by Eckhart Tolle

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