‘When we are set free from the way we sign and package the world, we are also free from believing in that packaging. For example, some people look across the room and say, “Those are my friends,” and other people look across the room and say, “Those are my enemies,” and both of them think that their packaging, the signs they put on those people, are actually the people. But the signs they put on them, friends and enemies, are really just cognition. Without realizing that, it’s hard not to be disturbed, hassled, and afflicted by the signed phenomena. Signed phenomena, phenomena that have been made graspable, afflict us and agitate us. We may not be able to stop our mind from signing phenomena, but with the aid of this teaching of mind-only, the signed phenomena won’t disturb us. In other words, we can become calm, compassionate, and free with signed phenomena, even while the mind continues to do the packaging.’ (The Third Turning of the Wheel)
This was an important thing for me to realise: my mind is very quick to put labels on people (as well as most other experiences I have), but understanding that this process could be uncoupled from believing the content of the labels (or signs), helped me be free from the restricting power of the labels.