Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Letting go of labels

As a society we are conditioned to stuff everyone and everything into a labeled box. Whether it be race, religion, physical appearance, social status, and the list goes on. This wonderful article, Why I stopped hating Elvis Presley, shows how we hold onto opinions about others based on limited point-of-views, most times not even formed on our own experience.

I realized I do this with myself.

I was the honor roll student. Mixed chick. Thunder thighs. CPA. Vegetarian. Coffee addict. Cat lady. Emotional binge-eater. Depressed. Some labels I placed on myself. Some were from others and I let them stick.

These labels limit my growth: how I perceive myself and what I experience. But they can be used to get to the core of who I really am.

Over a year ago, I had taken a break from coffee. After a month detox, I excitedly reintroduced my favorite creamy caffeine into my daily routine and my body rejected it. I was devastated. I was all about coffee. Stumptown anyone? Without it, who was I?

Then I thought, what about coffee do I really love? The nutty aroma. Cradling the warm cup. Lounging on a couch, deep in conversation with a loved one. The energy jolt. Lost in my imagination, working on my writing. Memories of Paris and Italy.

Coffee represented so much to me. Connection, creativity and energy.

But all of this doesn't come from coffee alone. There are infinite ways for me to experience connection, creativity and energy. And now that I no longer label myself as a coffee addict, I am free to play and discover new experiences that feed me and my soul.

who are you without labels?

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