Labels, Jasmine Gold

Is it spring, or is it winter? The plum blossoms are blooming at the same time as we have flooding from an atmospheric river. Often we have a tendency to slap a label on something, but sometimes labels get in the way. What would your life be like if you let go of labels?

When I label a season as spring, I create a picture of it in my mind. I have expectations of the weather, the plants, and the activities. I create a similar picture for winter. Because I live in a warm climate, my picture of winter is probably different from the picture created by someone in a colder climate. On the other hand, I also have a picture of what a “traditional” winter looks like. These multiple pictures can cause confusion as to how to define winter. While differing pictures for the seasons don’t affect us that much, other labels can.

If I label someone as a friend, I create an expectation of what our friendship should look like. Friends should do this…. Friends shouldn’t do that… You can probably create a whole long list under both of these categories. However, your list is unique to you. Each person and each friendship is unique. Each one of your friends has a different list. That’s why relationships can become challenging. They form based on the common areas in our lists. They pull apart based on the differences. If you let go of the “should’s” on your list, you can let all the relationships in your life flow and evolve in their own way.

You don’t try to turn a plum tree into a cherry tree. You appreciate the tree that you have. If you want a different tree, you plant a different one without complaining that the tree that you wanted. In the same way, you can appreciate all of the relationships in your life and move on from the ones that aren’t working. You don’t have to get mad that they aren’t the way you want them to be. You can simply realize that you want to cultivate something else.

As the seasons turn from winter to spring, think about what is growing and thriving in your life along with what it is time to weed out and let go. As the flood waters recede, let them take away anything that you no longer want. Make this time a healing storm that heralds the transition from winter to spring along with a transition to something new in your life. Or not. That’s creating another label!