The people who trigger, annoy, irritate, excite, enliven, or enlarge you are always more than the label you’ve given them. Irritating, obnoxious, peaceful, narrow, worrier, closed, open, arrogant, loving, content, insecure, anxious, generous … everyone whom you’ve ever burdened with a label is so much more than the ideas you have about them.
The moment you say ‘you are…’, or ‘they are…’, or even ‘I am…’, you’ve developed a relationship with an idea or an opinion, not with a real person. Real people change moment by moment and day by day. We want to be experienced, not labeled.
In order to love them we have to drop the adjectives and descriptions we have for them, and in order to love ourselves we have to shed the costumes we’ve been wearing for so long.
Ideas are wonderful as jumping off places – starting points. They morph into prisons when they become fixed in our minds as truth. When that happens, change becomes something to resist and growth is an impossibility.
So a challenge for you to consider. The next person you run into about whom you’ve developed an opinion — somebody you think you know really, really well — allow yourself to drop your ideas about them, positive or negative. Not easy, and it probably won’t last, but just for a moment try to see what it feels like to just be with someone without confining them to your ideas about them.
Get to know them again today, just as they are, not as you think they are.
When you drop the labels, your clearest and best intentions can serve as much better rudders for your love stories than the labels you’ve clung to for a sense of safety that just doesn’t exist.
That’s truly the only way real love can arise. When you meet the ‘other’, in person, moment by moment experiencing the richness and breadth of who they actually are from a place of vulnerability and relative nakedness. The last time many of us experienced that was when we were children before life handed us things that we just didn’t know how to handle.
Possibly this road to true love is also the essence and epitomy of mindfulness – meeting the ‘other’ exactly as they are, not as you think they are, wish they were, or think they should be.
This is truly awesome.
And something I myself have struggled with and have worked on becoming mindful of over the years.
It is amazing how much we sometimes want people to make changes, and yet we don’t realize that we aren’t letting them because of this.
I learned from the best…. :). But sometimes ill recognize someone trying to change and they struggle, and instead of letting my fixed thoughts/ideas about their ability to change further block the potential positive change, I allow a bit of “pity” or “softness” in to remind me they are trying the best they can.
This change in mind frame I believe turns me into an enabler for change, instead of someone who blocks change by reminding that person of how they used to be or worse, inflate my ego by predicting how I think they will revert back to old ways.
This is powerful, and an awesome life challenge.
Very powerful what you said, Todd, that when you drop the labels it allows you to be an enabler to change rather than someone who blocks change by reminding the person of how they used to be … your perspective feels like kindness.
Lovely article. If we could apply this to many people’s views of the opposite political party and their supporters think how much progress we could make!
Thanks Sandy. Yep! I wrote it to myself and it covers every opinion I have about just about everything!!
This is a bit of PERFECTION! Love it! Thank you!
Thanks Renee! So happy to hear that it resonated!
Challenge ACCEPTED! I love this and I definitely have someone in mind to try this with today 🙂 Thank you, Robyn!
That’s great Melissa! My hope is always that folks will be moved to do something with what they’ve read! Thank you.
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