It is hard not to notice the changes taking place inside me as I move from the first half of life to the second. My friend and mentor Richard Rohr says that this is an important move. We give up trying to impress people, trying to impress ourselves, trying to gain money or influence or power. And if we do not then we suffer greatly and cause great suffering.
The most valuable work of this second half of life seems to be the lessening tendency to label things. Those labels are so American. We label everything good and bad, right and wrong, virtuous and heathen, Holy and evil. But I am less and less convinced that these labels are helpful. And I am deeply distrusting of the labels which I hear named by people who seem to entirely lack the ability to pray and meditate.
I also dislike the way I label others. True, there are many morons out there. (oops…did it again!) but on the other hand, who am I to label them. If that is what they are it is really no secret. So why label them when everyone can see the truth anyways. Instead I would rather use my time and energy listening for life. “Where is life and joy and what do we need to do to grasp it?” That is a better questions than “What shall I label this or that so that people know how wise and important I am?”
To live with a certain lack of labels and judgment is to live in the sacred “now” and that is really a relaxing place. It may be what Jesus kept yammering about when we so frequently called us away from fear an towards peace. I never am afraid until have labelled something bad. I am always at peace when the labels fall of. And they do. I just need to leave my glue-gun in the drawer.