LABELS

A friend of mine is going through a questioning period. Overwhelmed by seemingly insurmountable circumstances, she asked me if what she was experiencing was a “Mid-life Crisis”.

What if it’s actually a “Mid-life Awakening”? I asked.

As children, we constantly ask - “WHY?”

We question not out of obnoxiousness, but curiosity with no agenda. However as we get older, we are conditioned to accept things as they are. We follow through on expectations that may not be our own. We question less and accept dogma, traditions and societal norms. A lot of us stop asking “why” until sometime in mid-life, an event or a series of events jolt us.

Fitting in with the norm gives us a certain level of comfort and with it, a label. Often that label is our profession, our relationship status, our role in the family or our religious beliefs.

What happens if that label is suddenly stripped away? What happens if we lose that job, the relationship ends, we find gaps in our beliefs or a loved one passes?

Losing our label can feel like losing our grounding and our sense of identity. The imperceptive may call this a “Crisis”. However the child in us awakens and we start to ask “why” again?

A friend told me “When you’re growing, your center continually shifts. Staying with not feeling centered and vulnerability becomes your new discipline”.

It’s hard going through a loss of identity; but if we can keep asking “why” the right answer comes.

We emerge renewed, no longer defined by a label.

For me, the statements “I am a Dentist, I am a Christian, I am a mother, I am a wife , I am a woman”, simply became :

I AM.

Two words- Never have I felt more whole. :)