One day during a planning meeting, someone appreciated my organizational skills and said, “My Virgo feels so much better now.” Then they asked about several future activities. I said we’d get to those in a few months, after we completed other steps. They exhaled and checked something off their to-do list.
Later, as I reviewed my notes, I wanted to ask, “What comforts your Virgo?” I imagined how stifled they might feel within the stereotype of detail-oriented Virgo. I also wondered whether their Virgo labelled other colleagues or me, if that Virgo perspective is the only one they hold.
as we can be almost anything, live nearly anywhere, and learn about any culture
in one swipe, many of us still live according to labels designated to separate
and diminish us, rather than connect and empower us. Sometimes we keep ourselves in these labelled
boxes, perhaps because someone told us that’s where we fit — and we never
some of the labels:
Tan, White, Yellow
Buddhist, Christian, Jew, Muslim, Sikh
Gay, Lesbian, Queer, Straight, Trans
Poor, Privileged, Rich
Gemini, Leo, Scorpio
4, 3, 2, 1
Democrat, Libertarian, Progressive, Republican, Socialist
Chef, Criminal, Entrepreneur, Teacher, Unemployed, Veteran
Dad, Mom, Sister, Uncle
Short, Tall, Thin
Sometimes we classify one another, like specimens in petri dishes, saying, “They’re this way because they’re an ‘Introverted, Radical, Vegan, Architect.’” Then we imagine we know their whole story. We may spend tons of money and time assessing ourselves and others based on classifications which can become self-fulfilling prophecies. We may struggle within those labels to meet some standard, trying on other labels for size, like new clothes, to see whether they suit us better.
institutions put us through the demoralizing process of labelling to determine
our rank, credit score, and net worth, as well as our aptitude to enter a
specific school, live in a particular neighborhood, or drive a certain
car. We’re evaluated with algorithms and
metrics to determine what kind of risk we might be to their security and how we
conform to societal ideals.
among all those labels, we forget the only important one: Beloved Creation of
God (or whichever name we use for God), Beloved Creator of all things. Being one of God’s Beloved Creations means
we’re divine just as we are — and so is everyone else. That divinity, indwelling in each of us, is
expansive. It allows us to rise beyond
the limitations of all other labels.
As soon as we begin discarding labels, we grow in spiritual maturity. No matter what we’ve believed about ourselves before or which paths we’ve traveled already, we feel free to embrace both the depth of our divinity and the strength of our humanity. We live from a greater sense of compassion, understanding that everyone experiences pain and loss, as much as joy and success. And, as we know the divine within us, we know it in all others, too.
© 2019 – Rev. Jennifer L. Sacks. All rights reserved.