Do you have a name attachment that’s hard to let go of?
Have you felt stuck living the same old story over and over again and wish you could step out of your life and take on a completely different reality?
I have. And one day I decided to just go for it.
But in the process of transforming my life and using a different name than I had for a few decades, I became aware of this attachment I had to people calling me my “preferred name.”
And in a way, that’s still a hangup I have.
It drove me to write a short novel titled My Name Is… .
In the story, three friends have an unusual conversation with a stranger who doesn’t introduce himself the way most people do. It frustrates one of the people. And fascinates the other two.
The gentleman’s response to how he identifies himself provides a great perspective on how name attachment can keep us from both growth and happiness.
Does name attachment actually define who you are?
Or are you something more?
What if we get the opportunity (when we give it to ourselves) to redefine who we are instead of limiting ourselves to some former understanding or concept?
This is a subject I dove into regarding my personal name change in this blog article (along with the reasons why I started going by my first initial).
Sometimes after we grow up we want to not have names that seem childish.
Like Billy instead of Bill or Wally instead of Wallace.
We want to be taken seriously and not overlooked.
But too often we attach a meaning to the name we go by when it doesn’t do as much as have an identifier in word-form.
“It’s what I do that defines me.”
Remember that line from Batman Begins?
Bruce Wayne heard it originally from his true Love Rachel Dawes about midway through the film before he uses it to define who he is.
But there’s a part of his statement that is a little off.
He said it’s not who he is on the inside but what he does that defines who he is.
Yet who we are on the inside fuels what we do.
It’s the identity we hold to be true of ourselves on the inside that fuels our actions and how we show up.
Which is why to get unstuck in life and transform ourselves, we have to redefine the stories we tell ourselves about who we really are.
Beyond any name attachment or title someone may give us, including ourselves.
How to release name attachment to redefine who you are
My first name is David. It’s a beautiful name that I rejected for a long time. So I changed it to Dave.
But then I went through a gut-wrenching heartbreak and divorce. And I rejected Dave because I thought that part of me was weak.
So in shifting to go by my first initial and middle name, it was my attempt to redefine who I am.
David means Beloved and I embrace this in every way.
I like breaking down words and using them in different capacities to bring empowerment and transformation.
So here’s how I did that in my own life using the meaning of the name David:
Be Love D.
I am Love is a mantra, affirmation, and calling. The name personifies it.
As I continue in my personal development and spiritual journey, there are aspects, characteristics, and strengths I continue to exercise and step into.
And in my interest in words and alliteration, here are a few of the other things that D stands for:
Disciplined Discoverer Dreamer
Daring Dynamic Determined
Discerning Delicious Deserving
Dedicated Definitive Delightful
Dependable Desirable Devoted
Distinct Divine Driven
Try this for yourself:
1. Get a dictionary or thesaurus and look up positive adjectives and descriptors that begin with the first letter in your name.
2. Write them out.
3. Then do the same thing for the other letters in your name.
Use this redefinition as an acronym that defines who you want to become.
Write it out in large lettering and turn it into something creative or artistic.
Add feeling to your experience.
Let the feeling be empowering and encouraging.
This is a big way to change your self-concept, the beliefs you have about who you are.
Changing how you see yourself and what you believe about yourself changes who you show up in the world and the life you live.
It’s a powerful way to get unstuck. And also not attach yourself to a name to define who you are.
Allow yourself to rewrite your story and identity
Your name is what people call you.
But it’s what you believe about who you are and how you show up in the world that people actually know you as.
And it’s what you choose to be that determines your identity.
That’s always much bigger than any name, whether it’s on your birth certificate or something you chose to change yourself.
As you come more fully into your Divine nature, the I AM that defines you, everything shifts in the best ways.
It’s a wonderful and exhilarating experience.
It feels good to know yourself, and to be known by others from a place of peace, confidence, and wholeness.
What beauty and brilliance are you hiding from yourself and others?
Let your true self be known.
I celebrate you. And I believe in you!