What’s in a name?
My surname, aka family name, is not my family name it is my father’s name. He was not the whole of the family, he was the patriarch of the family and he loved the power of ruling over us all. My mother’s name is different; she always kept her mother’s name as well as her father’s name – it was important for her. It is important to me. I remember her explaining all the initials in her name as she recounted her relationship connections. My mother understood the importance of connections.
I have two names that I use regularly: my given name and a combination of a personally chosen mix of my birth names and my mother’s names. I still use the latter, with my mother’s name included, on important things, things that I want to last beyond my time on this planet. My given name is important to me and I had the opportunity to permanently change it but I did not. I did not want something borrowed ...
Since that time I have consider changing it, willingly, because of a different relationship - with myself. It is strange how something can be so precious to you when you are not secure in yourself but not at all important when other factors, like love, are in the mix. (I almost wrote ‘true love’ but there is no other type of love that I can think of...)
So, what is really in a name?
To me it’s an identity, but above and beyond that it’s recognition of a love relationship. A love relationship with the person who named you – whether this is as a child or as an adult. Naming is about a sense of belonging.
My son loves his new name because he says he likes being like me. Having my name, he says, means “I am you, too.”
What’s in a name? Identity ... and love.