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Musings on "Love Has No Labels"


“Love Has No Labels,” the thought-provoking Ad Council’s Independence Day video from 2016, showed up in my news feed again this year so I watched it. John Cena makes a powerful case for how appreciating diversity in America is part of being truly patriotic and loving. Powerful, simple – perhaps even deceptively so. He addresses some of the labels most commonly used in broad strokes to discredit others: race, religion, physical type, disability, gender, and sexual orientation.

As I watched it this time, what occurred to me is that I need more work with other labels that may seem more individual in application or situation: cranky, micro-manager, selfish, sexist, white-supremacist, male-supremacist, lazy, stubborn, flighty, unreliable, spineless – wow! Harsh list!

As I thought about this, the metaphor of a typo came to mind. When I write something, and find a typo as I proof-read it, I don’t throw out the whole composition as worthless. I fix the typo and present the corrected product to others. It made me really appreciate how much I have learned in my Fearless Living™ training. There was a time when if I found something I disliked or had a hard time dealing with in people, my focus would slowly narrow in only on what I didn’t like. The rest of the person – perhaps the good they did or other qualities that had attracted me to them in the first place, slowly disappeared from my perception. There were many times I let myself get so fed up with other people I questioned their right to take up space in my life, so out they went! It meant I left activities or groups in which I had a strong interest because I forgot to embrace their humanity, cherish their innocence, and appreciate that variety is what makes life interesting – after all, a garden of only one kind of flower is only interesting for a short period of time.

This is no longer how I want to live. This is no longer how I want to be. Those actions do not align with my stated beliefs.

I love the metaphor of the typo as a reminder that labeling others is an exclusive and unproductive way to approach people. Labeling and dismissing people precludes problem-solving, compassion, and personal responsibility. Tools that I have learned and teach in Fearless Living™ workshops and through private coaching; like Intention Statements, Gratitudes, and Acknowledgements; help me break down the barriers of labeling myself and others. Using these tools helps me stay open to solutions and connecting with others. This is how I live in freedom in my head as well as in my country.

If you are ready for more freedom in your daily interactions, contact me to learn how life coaching can benefit you. And belated Happy Independence Day to all!