My Facebook page used to say: Scott Stabile, Writer.
It didn't feel accurate. I like to write, sure. But I'm not, and have never been, a writer who couldn't imagine ever writing again, whose life would be without meaning if I didn't write. I've sort of pretended that was the case at times in my past, because it felt passionate and deep, but that's not really my truth.
I wanted that to be my truth. I wanted writing to be more of a passion than it is. My heart's number one calling. I so envied those writers who lived to write, who needed to write to feel whole. I envied anyone who had found something they lived to do (but especially the artists, especially the writers). I used to feel less than because I hadn't.
Of course there is no greater than or less than as far as our passions are concerned, or even as far as connecting to any passion at all. We are who we are. We do what we do.
So I changed the title of my FB page recently, from Writer to Public Figure. Public Figure is the broadest of the choices FB gives, though it felt a little too fancy at first. Look at me, I'm a public figure. A figure of the public. What does that mean anyway? Anything I want it to, apparently, which is why I like it.
The whole Writer/Public Figure thing got me thinking about labels, the ones others give us and the ones we give ourselves. It got me thinking about how restrictive labels are, as well as often being completely untrue.
How have you restricted yourself by the labels others have given you? How are you restricting yourself right now by the labels you're giving yourself? Are they even true? Isn't there so much more to you than all of these labels?
Clinging to the identity of writer helped me feel like I was someone, like I had something tangible to offer, a response to the question "What do you do?"
But the writing is secondary. It's an avenue for doing the thing I've come to discover I'm really here to do: SPREAD LOVE. That's it (at least right now). It's funny (crazy) to me that I spent so much of my adult life not seeing that as something tangible. Of course, Love-spreader gets funny looks as a response to "What do you do?"
I used to ask myself the questions "Who Am I?" and "What's my purpose?" Always in search of my destiny...which is a totally pointless, paralyzing search, by the way. Aren't we continuously living our destiny or it wouldn't be happening at all? I got to the point where I finally said destiny schmestiny: just love, and you'll be fine.
Now I ask myself questions like these:
What do I love to do?
Where do I love to put my energy?
What things bring me joy?
How can I bring joy to others?
What creative avenues would I love to explore?
What am I curious about?
The answers to these questions lead us places unbounded by the labels we've gotten or given to ourselves. If we follow our answers with action, and exploration, we're certain to find we are many different and wonderful things.
The more we venture into the unknown, and stretch beyond our comfort zones, and follow the whisperings of our heart, the more wonder we awaken to in our world, and the more wonder we create, as well. It's a serious WIN WIN.
Don't get me wrong, I really like to write. Even love it at times. But it's never been the whole of who I am. It's something I like to do. It's one more way to connect with people through love, and I'm incredibly grateful for that.
What about you? What labels do you feel like letting go of?
There's no better time than the present...