I've been moving the past week and my life has been shoved into boxes. If you've ever moved, you know that at the beginning of the process you have the best intentions to keep your memories and ̶u̶s̶e̶l̶e̶s̶s̶ ̶c̶r̶a̶p̶ other items thoroughly organized inside each cardboard box & spend extra time labeling all four sides. If you're anything like me you've greatly underestimated the amount of useless crap items you own and as moving day inches near those good intentions of keeping things orderly are thrown out the window and chaos ensues. A box of spaghetti ends up next to a barbie who is next to the dog bowl and what's chaos without not labeling these last-minute boxes, amirite?
As I sit and unpack, playing the game of "what will I pull out next", I've realized that there's a lot of similarities between my packing skills and how we, as humans, shove ourselves into boxes with (or without) big giant labels denoting who we are. Online you see people proudly boasting what they align with - red pillers, feminists, beta, uber alpha hunk, etc. Their entire persona is based on labels like these and they flock to groups of others that identify similarly. Sometimes people are labeled unwillingly because of life experiences, and they are forced into the outcast boxes like my favorite - the single mom cat lady stay away from her box.
During childhood we all started forming our identities based on the things we were good at, told we were good at, and what we enjoyed doing while staying away from those things we couldn't quite get the hang of or gave us discomfort. Over time, we start categorizing ourselves into the "I'm this type of person but not that type of person" and we start seeking out others who have labeled themselves in accordance with our own beliefs; our entire identity is based on the belief that these ideas we have about ourselves, and others, is the absolute and objective truth.
While we all love finding "our kinda people" and pride ourselves on the fact that we are solid in knowing who we are, these labels and beliefs can be detrimental when we use them to define ourselves and others. When you put yourself into a big giant box with a big giant label you become limited in believing that who you are now is who you always were and who you'll always be. It keeps the guy who hates books from ever picking one up, it makes the sweet girl act like a bully to others for not being in her clique, and it keeps all of us from evolving. We stay stuck in fear of not fitting in, we stop thinking for ourselves while blindly conforming, and we begin judging others based on absolutely no reason other than them not being in "our group". Labels limit how you see yourself; you are this type of person therefore you must look, act, and think a specific way.
When you start separating what is real from what isn't about yourself, what limits you have put on yourself versus what you know in your heart to be true, you break free from the labels that tie you down. Stepping outside of that familiar box, all nicely organized, can be a scary thing but when you do you become empowered to really expand as humans are intended to do.
You've got too much to offer others so stop letting things define you and put you in neatly packed boxes. Be like barbie and hang out with the dog bowl.