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Saturday, January 31, 2015

Say My Name

I frequently hear people say that they think I am so strong. They marvel at how I do everything with my kids that I do, and still stay sane. They wonder at how much strength it takes to keep putting one foot in front of the other, when, they say, most people would give up and quit.

I think it’s my name.

I started thinking about this last year during a particularly stressful time with the kids. I'm not trying to be conceited, but honestly, so many places I go, people tell me that they can’t believe how strong I am to deal with all the things I deal with. I always say everyone has a lot to deal with. It’s not just me. I have things to handle that many people do not, but other people have other things, and most people are very strong. But I started to wonder why so many people tell me I’m strong. Then I got to thinking how ironic it is that my name, Carrie, means “strong woman.” I think I was named this particular name for a reason. A reason other than the fact that it was my Grandma's name. A reason even bigger than familial ties.

I have this little theory about names. I think you’re named your name for a reason. Every name has a meaning, and that meaning is an integral part of who you are. The second you are named, you become Someone. Someone with meaning, with purpose, with intent in the world. And I believe every time someone utters your name, it’s a tiny prayer for you. A prayer for you to become even more of who you are meant to be, for you to have the strength to do what you are supposed to do in this world.

During this period of time that was quite challenging with my kids, I drew strength from the thought that every single time anyone has ever spoken, or thought, or whispered my name, it has been a silent prayer for me to be strong. Since my name means “strong woman,” each time my name has been called, it has been a mantra of hope that I will be strong enough to handle the challenges I am given in this life.

I know this is a crazy theory, but what if it is true? And who cares if it’s not, I like it so I’m going with it. It gives me hope when I’m feeling down.

Now everywhere I go, I look for name tags. Name tags on people at the grocery store, the gas station, restaurants, the doctor’s office (which we frequent quite a lot). I look at people’s name tags and I say a tiny, silent prayer into the Universe for them.

“Be with Ebony.” “Thank you for Frank.” “Thank you that Lesa was here today.”

It’s not much. And the people I take a moment for never know I’m doing it. But it gives me a moment of connection to other humans during otherwise mundane life activities (like checking out at the grocery store), when my consciousness would probably be dulled by zoning out with my iPhone otherwise.

To say someone else’s name and offer the gift of silent gratitude that they live in this world with me gives me the feeling that somehow, I’m doing something for the greater good. Every time I say someone else’s name, I offer up a small prayer of hope and thanks for them. And I hope that someone is doing the same for me.

Maybe that’s why I’m “so strong.” I am called, after all, “strong woman." Keep sayin' my name, people. I need all the strength I can get.

1 comment:

Full Spectrum Mama said...

Dear Strong Woman...
I like YOUR name - but mine? hmm. It means "fair one." I am going to take that as fair as in JUSTICE!