Let's have a chat. I want to talk to you about something that I've noticed in myself and others recently. It's quite simple, perhaps it might even seem irrelevant, perhaps it doesn't impact your life at all, but bare with.   I want to talk about names, about the identities we take on because of the way that people speak to or treat us. It probably needs more space than the average blog post, so forgive me if it comes across as brief. 

Here's the thing; we let people name us all the time. We seek affirmation from a source that is, by definition, subjective. We are so quick to put ourselves above or below people in the social pecking order, we cradle criticisms and carry them on our backs because we think that's what success looks like. We take on other people's expectations and let them define us. Sometimes these things are not in themselves a bad thing. No one wants to be nameless and sometimes people have a name for us that fits and resonates with who we are at our very core. It's about choosing to listen to the right people. I don't know what that looks like for you, maybe the expectations of your parents sit right with you, maybe they don't, maybe the words your other half say over you seem to fit, maybe they don't, perhaps you have a friend who has spoken a new name out of nowhere that has sparked something wild inside your heart, perhaps not. But let me make something very clear; you shouldn't allow your worth to be tangled up in the words or actions of people that have hurt you. Parents that abandon or criticise consistently, friends that are flakey and dishonest, teachers, bosses and mentors that exploit, ex-boyfriend and girlfriends have absolutely NO impact on your worth or your identity.

I have carried so many names. When friends and social groups pulled away, I called myself pariah, when people criticised, I called myself unworthy, when love failed, I called myself unloveable, when christians stopped caring, I called myself unholy and unworthy, when I was ignored, I called myself boring, when I was rejected, I called myself fat and ugly and so on and so on and so on. I took these names and made the wounds deeper. It made me unkind, it made me hold back friendship, trust and encouragement. It made me so bitter and unhappy and I wanted to make sure everyone around me could feel the pain that I was feeling. Then one day I'd just had enough. I realised that I was just as responsible for this pain as the people that caused it in the first place. Forgiveness is the easy part (although it's definitely not easy!). Letting go of the names is the hardest. Everyday I have to realign my thoughts with the truth and I guess my 'truth' relates directly with my faith in God. God says that I am enough, that I am created with a purpose, that I am worthy of love and worthy of joy. I guess what I'm trying to get at is that we are not obliged to take on the names that others give us, we can choose whether their words or their actions have an impact on us. It takes practice and I'm by no means perfect at it, but let me encourage you to always realign yourself with the truth. A good marker is: Love your neighbour as your love yourself. As Don Miller says ' I would never talk to my neighbor the way I talked to myself...somehow I had come to believe it was wrong to kick other people around but it was okay to do it to myself' I promise you that if we live our lives from an identity rooted in truth and names that resonate with who we ACTUALLY are, then the world will become a much brighter place. 

No comments:

Post a Comment