Cages of Words

This morning in meditation I had a visceral experience of a cage I’ve been living in my whole life.

The cage of Labels.

The names, titles, and descriptions taken on to feel important, to “understand,” to describe and make sense of, to know one’s place, to have reasons or justifications…

On one hand, without labeling, it would be awfully difficult to clearly articulate certain things to someone. How would we teach a child what those tall, green aerials are that provide oxygen and clean our air? How would we introduce ourselves and explain what it is we do in life?

Or… would it be awfully difficult?

Is that just a label we’re putting out there? “Difficult.”

“It’s so hard. It’s so difficult.”

Is it? Is it, really? Or is it just so common that attempting to do otherwise feels foreign and uncomfortable?

Is it just so addicting that to let it drop for a minute to try something new feels like stepping into something entirely surreal? And being unclear feels like being naked in a crowd?

It occurs to me that labels- particularly titles- keep us at arm’s length from expanding into infinite possibility.

“I’m __________, so I could never do that.”

“Oh, I would really love to. But I’m a ____________ so that would just never work.”

“I don’t think I’m qualified? I’d have to be a _____________ to be able to do that.”

I’m going to share with you how this meditative insight occurred to me, though I suppose this learning has been popping up in various forms in my life for a while now: it’s why I was inspired to start my podcast “Totally Unqualifed”. It’s only this morning that I saw it in this particular light.

As I was meditating, my family began to float through my head. Including my step-family. This is probably because my step-grandpa passed away just last week, and it’s Christmas season so ‘tis the time for family gatherings.

Now, if I am honest, my relationship with this side of my family hasn’t always felt smooth as silk. (Which isn’t to say they’re bad people at all).

It has far more to do with me than any of them. Actually, it has everything to do with me. I’m responsible for my feelings, interpretations, and associations. Any pain or stories I carry are mine to feel and free, I can’t put that on anyone else.

Anyhow, as I was feeling and sitting, I saw the word, “Step-Family.”

“Step” being highlighted, emphasized. And it felt painful.

“What is that about?” I thought.

Get curious about your pain.

Now, I will spare you the intimate details (a lot unravels in an hour-long meditation!), because the real point was that I had the discovery that “Step” is a label. And in this case, it felt like a distancing one.

One that held everything out at arm’s length.

One that said, “This is a place holder, a space holder. Don’t get any closer because really there should be someone else in between you and I. We both know that.”

One that said, “This is a replacement for something more real and authentic.”

One that said, “Yeah you’ll do I guess. Not in place of, but out of obligation because you’re a kid so we can’t very well turn you away.”

One that said, “We don’t really understand her. But that could be because she’s a ‘step,’ you know?”

All stories, my friends. All assumptions. All beliefs I had been carrying for years.

Distancing, painful, heavy stories because what else does the Ego love if not to separate and build reasons of “not enough-ness”?

What labels are you carrying? What titles have you placed yourself under, shouldering them like a weight or a reason to stay small? What words are you cage?

We are Infinite Light beyond description and beyond the perceived “organization” of titles.

Love and Blessings,
Tera Sundri