In Day 2 of our “Become What You Believe” meditation practice, we learn that labels themselves turn everyone into a “type” or “statistic”. However, it’s our own belief into those labels that motivates us to behave certain ways. I will illustrate this with two different stories:
I have a friend who married young, had five kids by the time she was 37, and still finds time to go on boating trips with friends, go on romantic vacations with just her husband, and still loves dance music and parties. Her kids, her marriage, and her friends keep her young at heart. She believes kids become a part of your life (not your whole life), age is just a number, and life is too short to do the same thing every single day.
The Label Follower
I have another friend that married in her mid-20s, she’s a “box-checker”. She believed you were to have at least two kids before you were 30, own a home in a well-to-do neighborhood, and retire at the age of 50. She’s accomplished the first two right on time. She sees my lifestyle, and that of my friend’s, as being irresponsible.
The truth is, labels exist to categorize you for the sake of governmental record-keeping and law-making. Unfortunately, it has bled over into our own personal lives and the judgments we hold on ourselves and others. If we take a step back and really think about why these exist, we begin to realize that those are not beliefs of our own (or beliefs at all), that they only labels, and nothing else. So what if we are at our late 30s and feel/look as though we’re in our 20s? Who does that harm? So what if we have children but still love to have a good time? Are we bad parents? The answer is “no” to both (unless of course it’s bringing harm to yourself or others).
Who I Am
Per my post yesterday, I focused on the top 10 things I believe in, that make up me. I encouraged all of you to list out some of the top things you believe in that shape who you are as well. When you reviewed your list (pending how honest you were with yourself), you saw how dynamic of a human being you actually are. It’s through this exercise that you gain greater clarity about how your beliefs form your identity that can only come from truly understanding yourself and not labeling others.
So the question that emerged from today’s practice is, “Who am I?” It’s a loaded, complicated question I know. To help you out, I did some mapping on myself (using yesterday’s top ten beliefs), which can be used as a template or guideline to answering that same question for yourself.
- I believe in love = I am passionate, caring, giving, happy, generous, fully present, nurturing, peaceful, and affectionate. I am someone who can give everything I have to those I love the most.
- I believe in astrology = I’m superstitious, inquisitive, introspective, and curious.
- I believe the universe has your back = I’m trusting, patient, and understanding.
- I believe in EDM music = I’m a dancer at heart, a music-lover, energetic, fun-loving, and carefree.
- I believe in writing = I am talented, a helper to others, an artist, educated, intelligent, chipping away at my goals of making writing my profession.
- I believe intimate gatherings = I am a chef, a hostess, entertainer, decorator, lover of people’s stories, a lover of meeting new people, and a pro at connecting people.
- I believe in exploring = I am a world traveler, an explorer, an adventurer, cultural, open-minded, accepting, and an addict of that euphoric feeling when you check something off of your bucket list.
- I believe in fashion = I am a lover of well-tailored clothes, unique designs, handbags, shoes, and jewelry. I am my own makeup artist, my own stylist, and an addict when it comes to how I feel in a look I’ve created.
- I believe in luxury = I am a napper, a bath-taker, a book reader, a self-gifter, a jet-setter, a lover of posh hotels and restaurants, a self-pamperer, a lover of sleeping in and nice sheets, and a believer in cozy nights.
- I believe in “owning” who you are = I am confident, healthy, happy, successful, crazy, patient, sane, loving, beautiful, and proud of who I am.
Spend some time today, reflecting on yesterday’s exercise and begin to think about who YOU ARE as a result of those beliefs. Be honest in your descriptions of yourself, as it’s the only way towards becoming what you believe.