Saturday, November 24, 2007

Say Your Name . . . SAY YOUR NAME

Some years back, the musical group, Destiny's Child, sang a popular song, "Say My Name . . . say my name . . . " The song was about a woman telling her boyfriend to 'say her name' because she suspected him of cheating and needed him to 'say her name' to assure her that he was being faithful. She wanted to be sure that he had enough love (for he) to say her name . . . to call her by her name.

That song came to mind this morning as I was watching Suzie Orman on the local PBS station. She was speaking to an audience of women about women & money. As most of us know by now, financial problems and the way we handle our money stems from personal issues as well as from a lack of financial knowledge, so Suzie was encouraging the women to be more self-giving and self-loving; to be more assertive and confident; to build up their self-esteem.

Near the end of her show, Suzie brought up a valid point about names - especially womens' names because we acquire different names and titles throughout our lives. We start off with our 'miss' maiden names. We change our names to 'mrs. husband' when we get married. And If we get divorced, we change our names back to our maiden names. All of these changes to our original name causes us to be uncertain about
who we really are. We don't even know which of the prefixes - 'miss, mrs or ms - we will or should use anymore.

So now we have the name prefix uncertainty blended into the melting pot of the many more 'titles' we accumulate; like mother, daughter, wife, ex, etc. This causes us to be more unclear and leaves many of us incapable of saying our own name, with confidence, out loud to another person. Because we have become unclear about who we are, we cannot even say our own name.

In thinking about my many 'names' and titles over the years, I know the name that fits me perfectly and feels the best is the name I have had since birth and childhood. The day I reclaimed my name from the archives, I felt empowered. But even still, I rarely introduce myself using both my first and last name.

There is power in a name. There is a unique vibration associated to every name. There is a numeric value in each letter that makes up a name and is of great significance, especially in the system of numerology. There is historical value and ancestral knowledge and strength in every name. And for all parents who took time carefully choosing their baby's name; there is meaning in the chosen name . . .
the 'given' name.

This 'name' theme actually began last week when I heard Maya Angelou stress how relevant it is for one to ask for (and remember) another's
full name. She phrased it in terms of 'courage;' to have the courage to ask a person for his or her full name - not stopping at Staci with an 'i.' And then, to have the courage (and respect) to remember that name.

So, what's in a name? More than we know. More than we realize. More than we give attention, relevance and respect to. We are our names more than we think we are. I have always used the excuse that 'I'm not good with names.' But I am now aware that I haven't given the name nor the person in front of the name, my time, energy and respect. I can no longer use that 'I'm not good with names," excuse. God help me if there's no room in my brain for a new name. But even if that were the case, regardless of the fact that a name can be stored in a brain - it is
remembered in and recalled from one's heart.

My name is LINDY LENK.

SAY your name. Say YOUR Name. Say Your NAME.

The photo: The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. He and his name did not go completely unknown - "Known only to God" as inscribed. He, himself had a name and he, himself, knew his name.


eric1313 said...

I stutter when saying my full name. Very weird. I have no idea why I would do that, as I don't normally stutter--most of the time.

My name is Eric Bachman.

I guess that's why I like writing! No vocal mishaps like stuttering or Freudian slips or any of that stuff. I can express myself in a way that isn't limited by conversational boundaries, in a way that is perfect, or close to it.

Take care, Lindy!

the walking man said...

Mark C. Durfee, mark, Walking Man, dumb ass, honey, you, dad, pops, bd, b double d, old man, at least those are most of the ones I can remembering people using for me. But for some reason I always correct someone when they call me Mr. Durfee or Sir.

I usually never think much on names even though there can be a mystical character to them but I always look to the content of the heart under the name.

nice to know ya Lindy Lenk



Michelle's Spell said...

Hey Lindy,

This is a BRILLIANT post! I've always had trouble with identity even though I have never changed my name. I used to like the Dr. thing in class -- don't anymore, it seems pretentious. Hate the Mrs. as I am not. Miss seems too young, Ms. is fine, but weirdly, the place I have the most trouble is in my personal life. My exes almost never call me Michelle -- it's always some nickname. One actually called me Michelle when he was mad at me. Wonderful! But I like fun nicknames like Missy or Shelley or Senora Dufus (that one from Mark C. Durfee himself!). For writing, though, it will always be Michelle Marie Brooks, from here until I die. Love your name, Lindy Lenk -- it's lovely and musical.

Erik Donald France said...

Hiya, Lindy Lenk ;) Excellent. Right on. I always include my middle name -- that way, there's only one.

The different social titles for women -- well, you already wrote it. Cheers, Lindy Lenk.

realbigwings said...
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