Labels only mean what meaning we attribute to them

We define ourselves too often via those who perceive us. The people we meet on a daily basis end up defining how we see ourselves. Far too often while growing up, teachers who lacked motivation, and people who didn’t believe in themselves mirrored back to me their inadequacies and limitations. I grew up believing that I wasn’t great, when in fact I am without a doubt. My only problem? Others. It’s a funny thing. Never in a million years would I have believed that my problems could have come from other people.

In fact, I have spent my entire life being as diplomatic and empathetic to others. I shy from being out and about simply because people ask me so often, for money, for directions, for something. I even went as far as trying to become a mean person so that people wouldn’t profit of my generosity. It didn’t work, it wasn’t sustainable.

Though, I say that labels don’t mean anything because I know. I’ve shrugged my labels off, and believe me I’ve had some pretty strong labels.

Whether you’re a schizophrenic, a bipolar, a transgender, or a social pariah, you can overcome these labels and move forward, if you believe you are above these things.
Very often, whatever diagnosis doctors lay on our shoulders falls short and crumbles.
In fact, I’m pretty sure at this point in my life that psychiatrists are only here to medicate people and tell them lies about how their peoples lives can evolve. The truth is, it doesn’t matter what anyone says. Even a Psychiatrist or a Doctor!

If you believe that your life has a different future than the one being told to you, then it’s up to you to define your life the way you want it. Living your life from the outside in can only work for a while, but anyone who’s mastered the art of living will tell you that you can’t win by striving to live up to other peoples standards. In fact, as you strive to do so, your life will get incrementally worse as time goes by. Learning to live by your own standards is essential to going at your own rhythm, and that is required if you’re going to enjoy your life at all. The way I know this is that I spent most of my life people pleasing, reading their reactions, living through them, telling them what I thought they wanted to hear. All of this despite not knowing truly what I wanted. In fact, I wasn’t really aware of myself, I was simply living through other peoples reactions. This made for quite a vacant life, one of appearances. But one day, I had to examine my life. I had to deal with emptiness, inadequacy, fears, even mental illness! It wasn’t a pretty picture. In fact, it was worse on the emotional front, I had to feel my way through a swamp of painful, scared and intense feelings.

Everything I had bottled up for 2/3 of my life, just sat there in the corner of the room like a giant turd on a sunny day, stinking, ugly.

When the time came for me to deal with it all, I had to start with one problem at a time, one feeling at a time, one troubled perspective at a time… alone. No one can really help you. Psychologists judge you and waste your time, psychiatrists drug you and waste your time double, family members add trauma and trigger you, and by now you’ve probably alienated yourself from your friends. No worries, it will be ok.

You see, going through 20 years of bottled up emotion isn’t as bad as it seems. It’s painful, it’s frustrating (especially when we see everyone else succeeding and becoming rich and enjoying life!), and there are no shortcuts. It is however ultimately worth doing.

Going through our past, undoing our difficulties, letting past pains come up to the surface to be healed, doing the messy work… It all makes sense once we’ve done it. It’s as if we’re carrying around a bag of rocks and each time we solve something we’ve either outgrown the weight a little or we’ve put a rock down. Either way, we get to grow through the process.

All of this, looking back at when I left high-school, was triggered by the fact I felt like an outcast and ostracised from a group for breaking up with my (at the time) girlfriend. Of course the group of friends I had known the entire time I was with her decided to turn their backs on me, they were her friends! Though, going forward this turn of events made me feel as if the entire world had ostracised me and labelled me as “BAD”. All the other labels I’ve been given so freely along the way, they were wrong too!

It’s with these parting words that I say, so convinced, that we are the sole deciders of who we are, what we are, and what we’re going to do about it. No one can label you if you know deep down you’re not what they’re defining you as. In fact, nothing can define you or how you perceive the world except you. So choose well, the power to decide is in your hands!

If you liked this article, feel free to support my writing with buymeacoffee 🙂

2 Replies to “Labels only mean what meaning we attribute to them”

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