I constantly remind myself that categories aren't real. That is, they aren't Reality.
Categories help us label and understand our world, our universe. They can be very useful for creating equations (whether economic, social, scientific, political, spiritual, etc.), but we must remember that categories are tools to help us understand our world. They are tools.
They are not to be confused with the World or Universe. Categories do not exist in Reality. We have created them.
I often label myself and others. And sometimes we'd prefer to label and be labled. It gives us a comfort of how things are. But it's not how Things Actually Are. They're mental or social shorthand that point beyond. Categories act as symbols with hard lines so that we can understand and set up expectations.
I heard a Sufi Mystic speak about how they look for the essence of religions, not the language used to describe the essence (categories). She commented that the lines begin to blur when we loose our categories to touch the infinite. I found this very helpful.
Okay, sure this can sound all ethereal and meaningless, but we allow ourselves to be trapped into categories, not even realizing that the categories are made-up. I say I am a musician and I immediately feel like I'm not writing enough music or that my music is too pedestrian. But then I remind myself that I am also a communicator...but then I'm not speaking clearly enough with my songs. But I am also a fellow traveler and teacher and listener and prophet and friend. Which rules do I follow first?
And it gets further complicated when we use categories in groups/communities. Few people toe the party line for any one group. So what use is a category (like a "church" or "religion" or "genre") if there is huge diversity of opinion that is not represented in the culturally-accepted understanding of the category.
These categories are helpful in understanding who we are as individuals and communities, but they are not Real, you know?