Minimalist Monday: Labels And Missing The Mark

Happy Monday, everyone!

I hope you had a great weekend 🙂  Mine was great. My uncle is visiting from California so this weekend was special. I hope to see him again tomorrow before he heads home.

I have been thinking a lot the past few days about how we give ourselves labels to describe who we are, what we believe, and how we see ourselves in the world. these labels can be helpful to clarify who we perceive ourselves and others around us to be. They can also be stumbling blocks when we do not live up to the descriptions of the label or we grow beyond what we understand the label to represent.

This may come as a great shock to you all, but I am seriously flawed! Yes, I miss the mark continually. In fact, at times I am embarrassingly hypocritical and the exact opposite of what hope to be or profess to be in this life.

With that confession you can imagine correctly that I am often not very mindful, centered, compassionate, or wise. My life and my home have a long way to go before I completely reflect the values I hold in my heart.

I mention this not to sound like a perfectionist or make some kind of confessional out of my blog but rather to put an emphasis on the journey of becoming something more than what we are at the present moment. In our society, once we decide to set out on a certain path in life we give ourselves a label. Christian, Buddhist, Socialist, Capitalist Minimalist, Humanist, the list could go on indefinitely. We are a culture of classifiers and we can not help but put ourselves and others neatly into a box with a fixed set of ideals and expectations as to what traits a person on a certain life path should convey . As a result, we are often disillusioned by  those who follow a certain religion, lifestyle, or career and become disappointed and overly critical of ourselves.

Needless to say, life is never as neat and straightforward as a label would have us believe. I would like to suggest that as a society we look at labels and titles, not as a finished product, but as a state of becoming what we envision ourselves to be. Rather than giving ourselves a label and set description at the onset of our journey we should aim to use each moment to re-affirm who we are with our actions and move closer to our ideal nature.

Once we accept that we are evolving into what we one day hope to become, we allow ourselves and others to make mistakes. It becomes freeing to know that we are learning and not expected to be perfect. We understand the important thing is moving towards our goal despite any obstacles and shortcomings we may have. We will also discover that our vision of what we hope to become will evolve and change over time. As we face the ups and downs along with the twists and turns of our journey we will develop clearer picture of what we are becoming than we could ever see when we first began our quest.

Do not be discouraged or disheartened by preconceived notions created by generalizations of the path you choose to take in this life. As we grow and evolve to our fullest potential it will become apparent that no one on a path of self-discovery can be put neatly into a box and contained in it. It will also become apparent that we will fall short of our expectations many times. Hopefully, we will develop a sense of humor about this and the tenacity to persevere until we reach our goals of who we want to be in this life.

I know that those of you who have embarked on a journey of a more Minimalist lifestyle have made any amazing self discoveries about yourselves and the things that are important in your life. I know I have. For most of us  Minimalism is an outward action based on a desire for inward change and a means to live a more mindful and purposeful life.

Happy travels on your life journey, I am sure what you are becoming is nothing short of amazing and of great benefit to the world.

As always, I would love to hear from you!

Thanks for stopping by the blog 🙂

Until next time,

Laura

4 thoughts on “Minimalist Monday: Labels And Missing The Mark

  1. Hello, Laura, great post.. I hate labels and try to avoid them as much as possible. I’ve had all kinds of labels forced on to me and find it hems me in and makes me question how others see me. It took me a long time to realize I was letting myself be affected by those labels and have shrugged them off, including the label of minimalist which doesn’t feel right to me even though I have way less than those around me. By shrugging off the labels I gained freedom I didn’t have before.

    Liked by 1 person

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