In society, I am constantly noticing, especially now during the times of an election, a need to label one’s self, in an attempt to fit into some group or aspect of society. “I’m a republican”…”I’m a democrat”…”I’m a [name religious group]”…”I’m a yogi”… the list can go on forever. While I understand the comfort in labeling, the camaraderie of a group, my fear is that it is too easy to lose one’s self in doing so.
I will tell you that I do identify more with the views of one political party over the others, but I am still an independent, because in order to fit ALL the views of that political party, I would be losing a part of myself that I am not comfortable losing. Now, I’m not saying to go out and denounce all of your affiliations and titles and become an independent, not at all. I am just challenging you to remain yourself in a world of labels; this may be the hardest thing you ever have to do.
Remember that you were born an individual soul in an individual body; a tiny human with no political views, no religious views, no racial views, no real likes or dislikes in the world…just a tiny little person with primal needs of food, warmth, and love. It was somewhere along your journey of life that you started acquiring labels; we all have, it’s an inevitable aspect of society. There’s no problem with labels, so long as you remember that you are YOU. It’s when we identify so closely with our labels that we lose our individuality and potential problems can arise. At that point, we risk no longer having a society of beautiful variations of grey, but rather a society of black and white. With a truly dichromatic view of life, division of society can occur. Last time I checked, society was trying to denounce segregation of ANY kind, not foster it.
Now again, I say, do NOT go out and denounce your labels or affiliations – they’re who you are… who YOU are, not who your neighbor is, or who I am. Keep your labels, but remain yourself and allow others to remain who they are. Do not force your views or ideals on another because that is how you feel. Just be YOU and let others be themselves.
It’s OK to be a conservative who is pro-choice and loves tattoos; it’s OK to be socially liberal and financially conservative and be pro-firearm; it’s OK to wear Lululemon yoga pants to a spin class * gasp *; it’s OK to eat organic at home, but enjoy non-organic food at a restaurant; it’s OK to like both Good Morning America and the Today show.
If there is one thing you get from this blog, it should be this:
IT IS OK TO IDENTIFY WITH A GROUP, BUT REMAIN AN INDIVIDUAL.
With peace and love,
Alix Terpos PT, DPT