My Blog Motto

"Good judgement comes from experience, and often experience comes from bad judgement"

~Rita Mae Brown

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


The notion that labels are restricting and limiting to our perception is really nothing new. What surprised me recently was to discover that this truth applies internally as well as socially. I have always hesitated to wear labels because I felt they would imbue an observer with preconceived notions and assumptions about who I am as a person. I did not realize however that I could do the same to myself.
I thought I had a pretty good handle on my self image at least within the confines of my own mind. I figured I could call myself any name in the book, in my own mind and it wouldn't matter because I knew better. Labels don't only apply to the self however, they also include relationships with others and describe how we relate to the environment around us. SO when I found myself referring, in my own mind, to an old friend  as an ex boyfriend (he is both and old friend and an ex) I realized I began responding emotionally with a much more limited range of behavior than I would if I had thought of him as an old friend. In fact applying that label restricted my thinking and awareness to that short period of time that we dated and eliminating the many years that we shared friendship. I realized I was holding back in a way that I wouldn't for a friend. I am pretty gregarious emotionally with friends but with exes, I am like most people a little more cautious about my reputation, I guess you'd call it.

The way we define relationships or the meaning we ascribe to those relationships also changes over time. At a recent social event I witnesses two women, sworn enemies over a mutual attraction years ago, bonding with the familiarity that is bred by shared history. Time heals all wounds and it sure as hell puts things into perspective. Those unforgivable crimes of the heart we perpetrated in our youth eventually become nothing more than a brief chapter in the narrative of our life. Just as our Mothers assured us as we lamented about not having the right clothes or the latest hairstyle,"ten years from now you won't even remember what you were supposed to be wearing, much less care", the labels we assigned to our relationships, much like the ones we were supposed to have on the back pockets of our jeans, have faded from memory. What's left is what we wear now, in the present and if we can wear it well, with style and grace.

© 2010-2013 Nanakoosa’s Place, authored by Jennifer Hazard

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