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A YOGI CHA BLOG

LABELLING THEORY

Hi, I’m Charlotte (Yogi Cha). I’m a yoga teacher with a degree in clinical psychology. I’ve always had a deep curiosity toward eastern and western approaches to understanding the mind, and the ming/body union. You’ll find me in the lovely Canggu Bali, nestled amongst coconuts, palm trees and sunshine 🥥🌴🌞

 

As we were leaving the yoga shala, me and a student trained in sociology and criminology, got into the discussion of our time’s need to label each other.

I exposed to her my thoughts around an article that was taking shape, a worry of mine really.

She put a theory to my contemplation, something they studied in criminology, the “labelling theory”.

Through research, they came to see patterns in the labels people get on them early in life.

“As members in society begin to treat these individuals on the basis of their labels, the individual begins to accept this label him- or herself. In other words, an individual engages in a behaviour that is deemed by others as inappropriate, others label that person to be deviant, and eventually the individual internalises and accepts this label.”

Like any other BELIEF we carry around in our Self Image, when we have been labelled something enough times, we accept it, integrate it, become it. This is, of course, one of the reasons we can trace certain behaviours to groups of people as well. Wether it’s in criminology and finding that the percentage of breakers of the law is higher in poorer areas or that women in countries where their rights to vote don’t exist, also claims that they have no interest in it.

And as a race, the human race, we are becoming more relentless with labelling each other.

It reassures us, this need to label, to “black and white” categorise people and concepts in order to understand.

It’s “the narcissist” and “the empath”

The sinner and the saint?

Angel and demon?

Lucifer and Jesus?

But aren’t they really the archetypes of good and bad?

Existing equally inside of our consciousness…

Just like these labels diminish us in our understanding of the person in front of us because we dehumanise them with our words, we also do it with ourselves.

The Image that you have of Yourself, the Self Image is the same battlefield. Everyday.

Things that don’t belong to you, have been indoctrinated and accepted all the into the marrow of your person. Separating yourself from being whole and perfect in your imperfection.

We suffer from it but it is our reality so we don’t even know that it’s suffering we feel. We just feel off. Or inadequate. Or empty.

Like Jung said: One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.

The Self Image Project is my way of shining the light into the shadow of each and one of us.

“to choose love, is to no longer recognise polarity or splits inside oneself. It is to no longer recognise the separation within the universe. It means, to recognise oneself in one’s polarity”.

I.E: the more we feel the need to categorise, to separate from, the further we move from integration or love.

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