A life without labels

In the last little while I have been unsure how to answer that question asked at social gatherings -“What do you do?” I realise in the past I used to name my job by means of explanation. This served two purposes – it quickly gave people an idea of my work but it also labeled me, with what I believed some status.


Slowly, over time and as I left that exact role I have been less interested in using a label. I’m no longer comfortable with pigeon holing myself and I no longer feel a label adequately sums me up.

I’ve never been one to choose clothes, accessories, products of any kind merely for the label. Having some consumer label emblazoned across my chest, on my handbag, on my sunglasses has never interested me. So I wonder why I was so quick to label myself in terms of my work.

On refection, I realise I have done this self labelling quite a bit. First I was a mother. Boy, when my son left home and that label was no longer valid on a daily basis I was lost, then I sunk into the comforts of being a wife, and a job description.


Now that I’m more aware and conscious, I flounder for a label and I’m not unhappy with that. I’m more willing to sit in the the vastness of that empty space. Labels of all sorts come with judgments and assumptions. Labels are convenient because without our labels and without our story; who are we?

Eckhart Tolle encourages us to “find our true nature beyond name and form”. This isn’t an easy task, it challenges us to delve deeply into who we are and what we stand for. It is, at times, confronting especially when we dive into our shadow side. Above all, living life without a label is exhilarating, it is liberating and it is full of possibilities.


I continue to unveil and discover my true nature without name and form.


2 thoughts on “A life without labels

  1. This is such a relevant topic. I dislike the way that for most labels, people apply a preset set of associated connotations and and judge people based on these without taking the time to actually get to know them and value them for their individuality as a person!

    Just for the record Shannyn, I know that day to day it doesn’t feel like you are a mother but you most certainly are and you have a wonderful son who adores you and thinks the world of you!

    • Yes, I agree. We can, without getting to know people, easily apply labels and tag people on our first impressions. This judgement is something I have worked very hard on stopping over the last few years and I have found life without it is more pleasant, lighter. A lack of labelling and judgement also opens up doorways and offers so many more opportunities to connect with people in different ways.

      I do have a wonderful son and I treasure our relationship. He means the world to me.

      Thank you for your insightful, thought provoking comments.

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