What’s in a Name?

“A rose by any name would smell as sweet,” according to Shakespeare. I would agree. I walk most days through garden, meadow, and woods, not knowing most of the names of the beautiful flowers and foliage I see.  Because I know some of their names, does that increase their beauty? We as human beings find the need to identify, belong and classify by title, education, location, etc. Does any of that really get to the heart of who we are as individuals, and the essence of our beauty?

I could tell you that I am a Capricorn with a Scorpio Ascendant and an Aries Moon. For some of you, that would resonate that I am authoritative, moody and controlling, and enthusiastic with a dash of impatience. I could tell you that I am a massage therapist, some of you would extend a hand to be rubbed or tell me about a chronic hip pain that you’ve had since a fall in 2003. I could tell you that I have a bachelor’s in economics, and some may think I follow stocks and could give you a tip or two.  None of these things or titles get to the heart of who I am, nor does knowing them make me any more or less beautiful. What they do is give a point of entry to a conversation or an understanding that is the lead into the potential of belonging. Potential is where many get derailed because of assumptions and expectations. Full disclosure, I still get derailed here at times.

We all have that, sometimes silent, motivation of longing to belong.  I was called back to the book by John O’Donohue, Eternal Echoes – The Celtic Reflections on Our Yearning to Belong. He says, “The human heart is inhabited by many different longings. In its own voice, each one calls to your life.” He goes on to say that some of these calls are easy and some not so much to decipher. I feel this is what has us pinging others by title and relatedness.  We are trying to understand these calls.  We cannot get there by doing.  We get there by being. I can no more change my being born a Capricorn, than change how the sun sets in the sky each evening.  I can manage my assertiveness and BE myself…all of me.  See, there are parts that I don’t show or care to explain. Some may know I am wildly creative and find many things easy or natural. I am a terrible proofreader and rush through many tasks just to get them done, sometimes having to redo things. Do these skills or lack of skill say anything about my tenderness?  My softer side is hidden inside the tough exterior.  This more tender side I decided was a weakness for many years because I didn’t understand that I was feeling much of other people’s feelings and emotions, as an empathic person. Without knowing this, some may revert to my astrology or even surmise what my Myers-Briggs might be (younger years ENTJ, later in life ENFP) or my Enneagram (8,2, or 4), and determine me difficult to get along with.

The truth is, we seek to label others not to know them, but to know ourselves.  We either identify in sameness or how we are so different.  We make quick decisions of friendship, lovers, work choices…without looking honestly at the mirror before us.  What do you see in another that you are/are not willing to own about yourself? Human beings are like the rose, intricate and detailed AND beautiful by any other name. And, we give others plenty of names…good ones and bad ones, maybe the names we give ourselves in the internal dialog that we refute. Accepting others where they are is the subject of much advice, self-help books, workshops, sermons, and of course, self-talk.  The question is, do we extend that acceptance to ourselves? How would we relate to others if we accepted ourselves first? What would we share with them?  Would we show the sweet center that is so tender?

There are many more questions and ponderings that arise from this idea of titles, labels, longings to belong. My practice and my suggestion are dare, just a little, to drop the titles and labels, save one…Human BEING.  Practice being. Stand in the “you-ness”, the “I am-ness”, the “is-ness” that doesn’t have a test, degree or long list of credentials. Just BE.  When I got divorced for the second time, I changed my name back to Blair and realized with my initials, B.E. Blair, that I need to figure out who this person was and how to BE her. What was a Blair? Honestly, I am still figuring this out.  I have vowed, to myself, to BE me. This is really all I can do. I invite you to be you…by any other names, this is who we are. Until next time, take time to pause with the rose, the meadow, the wood.  They don’t care if you call them by name. Special thank you to Reynolda Gardens for the beauty that is the garden, meadow and woods. 

Peace and Blessings,

Blue Jean Oracle