This week I proudly announced that I was going vegan!
Whilst this is a decision I feel I have been building up to all my life, following 24 years as a vegetarian, I find myself now only 6 days in and rapidly regretting that statement.
I knew it wasn’t, and isn’t, going to be an easy process, especially as I am a cheese-aholic and have recently gained a bit of an addiction to corner shop convenience. But this decision was almost taken out of my hands by divine guidance, as it’s a way of life that I now know is necessary to best support my physical and spiritual health.
Being an empath, and I don’t just mean an empathetic person, I feel things deeper than ever now, which extends of course to the animal kingdom. The guilt I have been feeling as I connect without intention to nature, has been nothing short of unbearable. I have been feeling their cries as if they were my own, which has actually been keeping me awake at night. So ‘veganism’ is something that I have been taking many steps towards for some time; whilst beating myself up for every day that I haven’t been able to do it. “I should have known better” I told myself as I took my new Bach mix this evening, containing Pine (for the critical self talk) and Chestnut Bud (for not learning from my mistakes).
Like everyone I have grown up with labels all my life, and I’m not just talking about the obvious ones such as my gender at birth. Labels like ‘needy’, ‘sensitive’ and ‘difficult’ are just some of the negative tags that I’ve carried and fought against to date. And no matter what I do to change or evolve, they just never seem to fully dissolve from the opinions of those I love.
By the age of 35, still a baby some kind souls might say, I have 6 labels attached to me that I know of. To make matters worse, all of these labels come from a minority group, with half of which being recorded strands on the Equality Act.
I read a book by Mel Wells not so long ago called The Goddess Revolution. In that book I remember being inspired by a section where Mel states (unquoted), that she chooses to say she tries to follow a plant based way of life when asked about her diet. I could appreciate Mel’s unwillingness to put herself in a box clearly marked ‘vegan’. As her decision to do so would have instantly placed a restrictive label upon her, and an imaginary bar that she would strive to reach for the rest of her life. See, when we give ourselves labels, we give others the power to judge us and to criticise our choices. When you’re at the start of any journey, and a flawed human being like everyone else out there, you just don’t need that level of peer pressure. As chances are if you’re anything like me, then you are good enough at judging and berating yourself without the help of anyone else.
I have felt an incredible pressure on myself this week, some self administered and some no doubt from the critics I have out there just waiting for me to fail. I haven’t felt at all liberated by my decision to go Vegan and instead I feel imprisoned and hugely dis-empowered. If anything, this additional label will be one of the reasons I am likely to relapse and tuck into a chunk of cheese (mmmm, cheese) or a square of Dairy Milk!
I already feel angry with myself for adding yet another daily battle to my already difficult days. A war that I no longer feel I can fight in private, as my announcement took the opportunity to tackle this huge life change day by day and at my own pace away from me. I feel as though I have another lifestyle choice that is open to opinion, to scrutiny and a pre-conceived and timed expectation from others. Oh jeez Ami, what were you thinking girl?!
Last year I had a new tattoo, and whilst sat in the hot-seat I witnessed a nearby conversation with a fellow ink junkie. I remember hearing them discuss ‘bloody vegetarians’ who go around with these strong opinions whilst wearing leather Dr Martens! I remember having to bite my lip so as not to say anything, as it just didn’t feel like my counter-argument would go down too well. But all the time I was thinking ‘how dare you’ pass judgement on people who are trying their best to make positive changes in the welfare of animals. For these Doc Marten loving veggies could well have bought those shoes second hand, or have every intention of replacing them when they get past a few months of their overwhelming new regime. Perhaps they haven’t bought the handbook on ‘how to be the perfect vegetarian’, or perhaps they have only purchased volume one of the series. You just never know what’s behind someone’s story, so should we really be judging others who are trying their best, and lets face it, doing far more than these meat eating tattooed dudes were!
What’s more, a few years ago , after having always been very distinctively ‘vintage’ in my appearance, I started wearing jeans. Following a break up, one that was quite controlled in the length of my hair and the clothes in which I could wear, I met a friend for coffee wearing something that I guess was quite ‘masculine’ and plain from what she was used to seeing me in. I will never forget that this ‘friend’ made a comment about how I didn’t look like me and she didn’t like it. Given that following a break up always equals cutting off all your hair and trying to look the total opposite of what you looked like when you were with said partner, I was crushed. Especially as I already felt I had lost my identity. Right there became another label, the ‘vintage label.’ One that I am still trying to liberate myself from today, when I choose an outfit on my more ‘masculine’ days. Oh, and all whilst being mindful not to look ‘too gay’…so as to be sure I really don’t offend (said with sarcasm!)
And that’s just it. The moment you give yourself a label you are open to judgement. You leave yourself wide open to ridicule, and find yourself having to justify everything you do that just doesn’t meet others strong opinions or expectations of who you told them you would be.
I have gone on a real journey with labels recently. Rebelling against them and trying to find cruel acts of self-sabotage and defiance whilst I act from a place of pain or unworthiness. My Indigo nature has wanted to revisit and re-brand all of these labels, even the basic ones such as gender and sexuality, and turn them on their head…just to piss everyone off and give them something to talk about if nothing else! But all I have done is hurt myself as a result, and moved further away from the empowering points of why I shared these expressed characteristics in the first place.
I’m so fed up of being defined by the restraints of my health, who I fancy, what I eat and what gender I class myself as to name but a few. And that’s not because anything has changed since I’ve given myself these labels, infact quite the opposite, but more so because I no longer want to live in a world of labels just to make other people feel comfortable about how to address me, cook for me or explain who I am to others in social situations.
I am not these labels. They do not define me. But they do seem to limit me.
So whilst I begin my new Bach mix complete with Centaury, which no doubt will help me reassert and redefine myself (much to those around me’s disgust); as of today I am removing my labels!
I do not want to call myself anything, unless it feels right to do so for me at the time, and I no longer feel the need to explain myself to anyone anymore. My actions whilst I grow, find my authentic self and reawaken my truth mean that I am sometimes going to get things ‘wrong’ and I am going to go against all of the textbook meanings I have set for myself.
Some labels are inevitable, and I am ok with that. In fact I believe that in the fight against labels we often end up giving ourselves more. So my hope is that by loosening the restraints of my own identities and pigeon-holes then I will actually be able to live more in flow and more authentically. Being a lot kinder to myself in the process, especially on the days when it’s an achievement just to be alive and to be me! However she presents, whoever she kisses and whatever she eats!
Yours in love and light,
Sharing is caring!Sharing my blogs, quoting my insights, and your continued support is always appreciated. However, if you reference any of my work then please credit Honeysuckle Healing, and include links to the appropriate piece so that others may benefit from these tools too. I work hard to ‘give back’ to my community through my free blogs and self-empowering online content. I can only continue to meet this dedication through your respect and recognition. Thank you
https://www.honeysucklehealing.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/label.jpeg427640Ami Smarthttps://www.honeysucklehealing.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/hshlogo-2.svgAmi Smart2018-08-06 00:03:582018-12-24 12:51:36Saying Goodbye To A Laboured Love Of Labels
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