Years ago when I was nursing, we used to attach long cardboard labels to the patients’ bedheads. The labels alerted the staff to any ‘peculiarities’; anything the doctors thought the staff should be aware of such as Nil By Mouth, Allergies, Diabetic.
I remember one patient well. On admission she tore off her label and stomped on it. She would not be labelled ‘diabetic’ and was outraged by the practice.
Which, upon reflection, was fair enough.
The labelling of patients in this insensitive and public way was at best reductive, at worst, degrading and disrespectful.
I can’t imagine such a thing happening today.
And yet, labels seem to be popular again. Perhaps not publicly displayed cardboard strips written with a red texta and stuck on with sticky-tape
People like to label themselves. Have you noticed?
I’m also a Taurus. Born in the Year of the Ox.
So much to live up to!
I’ve never done the Myers Briggs personality test but give me time.
Of course, I hold these labels lightly, I don’t take them as gospel. But I have to admit they’ve helped me on my quest for self-knowledge and personal growth.
The older I get the more I understand the necessity for self-knowledge and the advantages it can give you.
I mean, Shakespeare didn’t muck about, did he?
To Thine Own Self Be True.
The catch is, before you can be true to yourself you’ve kinda gotta KNOW YOURSELF.
There’s always a catch, hey?
Self-awareness. These days, since throwing a little more effort in that direction, I understand firsthand how it can help us in business and in life.
When we understand ourselves more clearly, have insight into our own machinations, DNA, proclivities and tendencies, we can move through life more smoothly, with more wisdom and grace. Decision making, delegating, even knowing when and why and how to let go, is not so daunting.
In many cases, we also give up feeling weird, second best, misunderstood or inadequate.
We learn to value ourselves and our place in the scheme of things, to accept there is no ‘normal’. Humans are endlessly complex, our psyches are oceanic.
With elevated self-awareness we can consciously work to our strengths—while at the same time giving up the battle to always be ‘fixing’ ourselves.
Ever seen an HSP introverted empath trying to make small talk in a room of 300 people? Tragic.
I am what I am. Take it or leave it.
Which is not to negate personal development.
It’s just that it makes everything a little easier, a little clearer and less jarring, when you have the blessing of self-awareness.
Knowledge is power. But self-knowledge is magic.
That’s my takeaway for today. My meme.
So, dear reader, sally forth and grab a label. Or two. There are plenty on offer.
Only, make sure you choose the ones that serve you.
And stomp on the rest.