Living Lightly to Labels

Luggage LabelIt was so lovely to be at Hopeweavers tonight for the last Art School this season, following the theme of Pilgrimage. At the start of the season, we used luggage tags to think about what was needed on the journey, and what we could leave to one side. At the time I was struggling with labels. I’ve been working on a painting, about living lightly to labels. Having received so many labels in recent years, there has been such life and growth through some of these labels, but also a recognition of the limitations and limits about labels that I’d held onto for so many years, and the potential narrowness of holding on too tightly to any label. Although my new labels have helped me to understand so much more of who I’ve always been, I still struggle to let go of deep-seated beliefs about myself that I’ve held for so long, ideas that no longer sit so well, but have become habit. Here are my ponderings from tonight.

What does it mean to be present to your presence

Here now.

To accept life, in all its fulness.


Am I willing to sit lightly to the labels.

Labels from others.

Labels from myself.


There has been so much life in labels,

Routes to health and wellbeing,

Gifts of breath,

Opening doors of insight and realisation,

Of acceptance and light.


And yet, there are limits and limitations too.

Lenses that can blinker and blind,

Threads that hold me back,

That restrict what I am even willing to consider possible.


I long for the familiar,

For others to give me the labels,

The structure,

The sense of achievement and acceptance,

For them to tell me who I am.


And yet, here, now

Present to your presence

Accepting your light

Am I brave enough to live wholeheartedly present?


Present to myself,

Present to your presence

To accept the gifts of passion and creativity,

Of insight and connection,

Of enthusiasm and energy.

To allow those gifts to flourish, unfettered, unrestrained.


What would it mean to live lightly to my labels?

To let go of their power,

To discover more of who you have made me to be?


Grant me the courage to accept the fulness of the life you have given to me,


To accept the gift of who I am,

To live wholeheartedly,

Here, now,

Present to your presence,

I am.

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