Labels, Lifestyles, and the Like

People-Too-Complicated-for-Labels

While on the road to self-actualization and introspection, one will quickly find stories of finding an identity within a community under a word.

Spritual, pantheist, asexual, gay, bi, dom, femme, male, teacher, mother, Christian, Atheist, joker, trans, black, crazy cat lady, republican, bipolar………………..

The amount of words we use to identify ourselves are immensely vast and varying in type and category.

They serve a purpose. Community, fellowship, rapid ability to identify with another. But does it serve to help, or hurt the individual?

Oftentimes, it helps. For a while. They research, ask around, and eventually find self-meaning. Immediately a feeling of “finally!” comes, and joy in finding people to relate and connect with.

The problem comes when you are known as that, and not as you. If the bond is created because of the shared affiliation, when change comes, and it will as life would have it, the community once shared and feeling of belonging falls. A depressed state often follows.

Some labels we do not choose. Our race and our gender are easy examples. These two can be harmful as genitalia do not define gender identification, and race is not often helpful (a black English, a white African, etc).

None of these thoughts are ultimate, as I’m sure they vary. My thoughts, presently, are that in the least labeling leads to decreased introspection. By accepting “I am this”, although it may be true, it can hinder how the individual actualizes that identity. We all know of the varying denominations of Christianity, yet they are all under that umbrella. Digging deeper, within the denomination, almost every individual has at least 1 theological point they differ on. So do we keep creating names? Everyone fleshes out themselves in their own, extremely unique way.

But, I’m curious. Personally, I see the benefits and frustrations with accepting a lifestyle identity or label, but I also see the impossibility of it.

What are your thoughts?

Perhaps, if you will, what are your identities and how do you personally flesh them out that not necessarily everyone under the umbrella term do?

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2 thoughts on “Labels, Lifestyles, and the Like

  1. Great post Nikeyo. Like a lot of things in life I guess there are good and bad things to labels. My brain has a tendency to categorize everything (not just people) so I use labels maybe more than I should.

    As far as identifying with a group I like getting together with groups that try to be inclusive of as many different people as possible. For example, I feel most comfortable in Unitarian Universalist congregations even though I am not religious (there goes another label).

    • Thank you for the comment! I’m a categorical thinker myself, and it can be really hard to not generalize. I’ve had to learn the hard way with that over some of my more ranting blog posts.

      Unitarians are cool people, for sure. 🙂

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