April 7 2013:
Pondering thoughts… What is a label and what does it mean when we call someone a name? We have chosen names with meanings. For instance, Jackie is a derivative of Jacqueline and means “the supplanter”. In my early years I heard the definition of supplanter meaning “someone who illegally takes the place of another”. This bothered me for years. I didn’t want to take something I am not entitled to. I knew the meaning had something to do with the story of Jacob and Esau and the taking of the birthright. I internally fought with my purpose in life based on the meaning of my given name. Years later I have found a better definition that I am much more comfortable with: “Jacqueline comes from French, as the feminine form of Jacques. Jacques originated from ‘Jacob’, which is derived from the Hebrew meaning ‘may God protect’ or ‘supplanter’. Supplanter refers to a person who replaces someone or thing of lesser value, and this Hebrew meaning refers to Jacob supplanting Esau as recorded in the Hebrew Bible. ‘May God protect’ has a more positive connotation and is therefore the preferred meaning for the name”.

So, if this original meaning of my own name bothered me for so many years I can certainly understand how name calling and labeling can detrimentally affect others. Our given names are something to be honored as our identity through life. In this case we hope parents choose wisely.

As we go through life though we are also defined by our actions. We have builders, carpenters, secretaries, climbers, sports enthusiasts. It is human nature to categorize our world to shorten the definitions and make things easier. That is what a name or label is, a definition. All so far is in a positive light.

What happens when based on actions we say someone “chickened out”. Is that person really a chicken? Do they have feathers? The connotations are not very nice to be sure, based on labeling, but really this is in reference to an action. It is not who the person is. I feel it is the same when we call someone bipolar, ADHD, alcoholic, drug addict, loser. I realize lumping those together may cause some grief, but think of it this way: A person who has a certain set of traits/ actions (ie mania/depressive, overactive, drinks a lot, takes drugs/meds, is lazy or otherwise unproductive and burdensome) is often categorized with these labels. And if the ‘accused’ person accepts these labels, he BECOMES THE LABEL through continuing choices whether they are conscious of it or not!! Upsets and traumas such as fear, abandonment, lack of love and touch, lack of acceptance. There are basic human needs for survival. When these needs are neglected it causes psychological damage in people and the result comes out in their choices and actions. This is NOT the essence of who a person IS!! It is the course of life that teaches, upsets and affects our inner being. There is no physical test to prove any of these labels. We can test for chemical IMBALANCES for some things, yes, but imbalances can be corrected in many cases. We are all light, energy, souls and we are all perfectly created, and we are all connected intricately whether we choose to understand that concept or not. It is the homeostasis of human beings and soul purposes. 

When someone accepts the label given to them, they will continue to act in accordance with the definition of that label, even acquiring more traits of that definition that they may not have had before. It is acceptable to take drugs these days to alleviate the ‘symptoms’ of psychological labels, but at what cost considering the  side effects? An alcoholic or drug user chooses not to deal with inner pain and escapes through a chemical means which imbalances their system and causes more issues. They get to a point of accepting the label as part of their being and block themselves from being able to CHOOSE to change their HABIT or actions. It is only when we recognize the label apart from us that we can have hope for change and inner peace. What happens if we lose our ability to do the actions? Do we also lose our identity?

There is a root cause for so many of these upsets. When we choose a path of healing, we can let go of the root causes of these resulting actions, and the judgments that come with it according to the given labels. Back to the beginning comments of builders and secretaries, I would also like to point out that those are labels based on definitions and actions, which is not our essence either. If anything, choose positive labels for yourself and others such as innovator or leader, something that comes from WHO YOU ARE, not what you do. There needs to be focus on the inner being and soul essence in order to find your purpose in life.

Sarah Joyce Michel: Since everything is energy and all energy is made up both positive and negative charges, the same is true of names/labels. The energetic essence of the name or label is a combination of positive and negative charge. Those who are experts in areas like astrology and numerology talk about this. Every sign and number has positive and negative aspects. We have the power to choose which aspects to align with and how we will neutralize the energetic essence of our sign, life number…even name etc., as all energy seeks neutrality. Every thought, word, action we think or execute in any way, is energy and does contribute to/create our reality. This is physics…not me talking 🙂 It is also true that we do not choose our name or choose to be labeled, these names and labels are placed on us by others, yet we have the power to balance the negative and positive. Not saying it is easy, suffice to say, if we buy into and own the negative aspects of say our name or own the label by saying or thinking it, like I have X or my mother says I am an X, fact is we create it, make it more of challenge to “step outside of our self into our wholeness and completeness”. I really believe there are no accidents, there is a reason for everything, whether it be our name or a label, there is a lesson to be learned, opportunity, growth and opportunity within any challenge. For ultimately we are all seeking neutrality both within our self and within our world.

Denise Homer-Goodwin: My husband and I read from 40 Days to a Joy Filled Life by Tommy Newbury every day. It is absolutely the most positive, uplifting book I have ever read. Today we read Day 8, Stop Identity Theft. I love this part: “Your self-worth is based on what God says about you, not on how you feel about yourself (or may I add whatever labels have been placed on you). If you owned the original of a famous painting but believed it only to be a copy, would that errant belief determine the actual value? It might accidentally define the sale price, but the value based on erroneous information would not change the value of the artwork. The true value of the painting is based on whether the art is an original or a copy. Likewise you are an original masterpiece , handcrafted by the creator of the universe! Whether or not you understand it, your true value is based on what God says about you, not what you or anyone else feels about you.”