This is kind of a rant…I’m sorry…I have an opinion that is slightly controversial (or maybe just unpopular), and before you all jump my shit, please hear me out. I am an advocate for “labels”, and a some what structured path.
Labels are words that we use to describe ourselves. Even saying “I don’t use labels” is, in a way, labeling yourself. You may not like it, but our world is made up of labels. “Human”, “male”, “female”, “other”…these form and describe the basis of our reality. It’s by manipulating these fundamentals that we alter ourselves and the world around us. The entire field of Psychology is based on the idea that our minds ARE our reality. There are whole (major) studies done on the effects of gas lighting, narcissism, and psychological neglect. The words we choose to describe ourselves hold enormous amounts of energy. The words others use can do the same. How often have you heard so and so is pro (insert what ever … abortion/death sentence/medicinal marijuana…) and you INSTANTLY form an opinion. Even if it’s not true, the label is in your head. So I propose that we own our labels. Make them into what we want them to be, so that when some one comes along and calls us “evil” (or what ever), our reality is so strong that theirs has no effect on it. We should also keep in mind that these words can change! For example I am no longer a “Maiden”. I am a grown ass woman, with a moderate amount of experience under my belt. Even if didn’t have children, “Mother” would be a much more fitting term for this stage of my life. My label has grown/changed along with me…
The second part is structure. I will be the first to tell you that I HATE organized religion as a whole. I’m not calling for a one size fits all attitude, but there is merit to adhering to a framework and working within it. Even if only for a set period of time. So many of us are frustrated and “lost” because we have no idea where to go next, or what to do. People who honestly want to teach are hard to find. We live in an age where information is abundant, and disposable. There is a reason we expect our professionals to have gone through an accredited program to prove they are “worthy” of providing their services. Why do we not those who want to shape our spirituality to the same standard? I’m not saying we should have to go get degrees or any thing like that, I just feel that if more people would decide “I’m going to study THIS for x amount of time” and then DO IT, there would be a great deal less confusion in our community.