What's In A Name?
Have you ever really thought about what your name means and how it represents you?
I have a confession! Sophia Luna is not my current legal name (Who knows?! I may decide down the road to legally change it!).
When I felt the calling to be a life coach, I started thinking about what I would want to name my business. I thought about how I wanted to make it personal with a name, yet I did not feel drawn to make it my legal name. There are many reasons I felt this way, but I will share with you the two key reasons.
First, it occurred to me that by using a pseudonym, I can protect the people in my life who mean so much to me. I want to share my stories in order to serve others, but I also feel deeply that it is important to me to protect and honor the privacy of those dear to my heart. Even with challenges I have shared and will continue to share about different people in my life, I only have deep, unconditional love for my family and friends. Even with my ex-husband, Philip, we have found peace with one another, and I can truly say I only have love in my heart for him and wish him the absolute best in his life. I use alternative names for family and friends (unless given complete approval otherwise), but feel this added layer of protection allows me to be more open in sharing my stories and life experiences.
By speaking with other life coaches who openly share their stories through writings, talks, podcasts, and/or social media, I have learned this is a common practice and an extra layer of protection for loved ones.
My second reason, I do not feel connected to my legal name. I do not feel it represents who I am.
As I was pondering names for my business, I learned that my legal first name means “judgment”. That felt counter to who I am because I feel judgment goes against the concept of unconditional love. I strive daily to be light and love. When I feel myself judging someone else, I stop, call out the judgment to myself, and replace it with love and acceptance for that person.
Don’t get me wrong, I do feel there are things in life that require discernment. However, when I hear the word “judgment”, I feel there is too much condemnation associated with the word. And for me, condemnation does not come from a place of unconditional love.
And we all have a divine right to unconditional love. We all have a right to truly be who we are.
Then there is my last name. My legal last name is my prior married name. When I signed the divorce agreement, I decided to keep that last name. As a woman, any time we change our name it brings attention to us. Being in the finance industry at the time and working at a major global corporation, I could imagine people seeing my new last name and either emailing to ask what had happened or congratulate me for getting married.
I mean, can you imagine? People sending messages of “Congratulations!”, and you needing to respond, “No, that’s not it.”
My heart was so broken, and I was not prepared at the time to share with inquiring minds the news of my divorce.
So, as I continued pondering, sitting with, and praying over the thought of using a different name for my business, I read in various books about names and labels put on us by others. I love signs, and I felt the things I was reading were being given to me to confirm that using a pseudonym would be most serving for me and my business.
We have names and labels put on us by others...be it family, society, associations, etc. Names and labels that we did not choose for ourselves and that do not truly represent who we are.
We are born and told “this is your name”, “this is who you are”, and, often, “this is what you are to believe”. Be it gender, race, heritage, religious affiliations, income, education, interests, sexual orientation, or our appearance, we are often placed into boxes that do not represent our authentic selves.
“Finding your passion isn’t just about careers and money. It’s about finding your authentic self. The one you’ve buried beneath other people’s needs.” ~ Kristen Hannah
And really, all these labels do is divide us, not only from others but mostly from our true selves.
Labels can also be placed upon us during our lives by our decisions/actions even when those actions do not represent our true, authentic selves. Be it “liar”, “junkie”, “sinner”, “stupid”, “loner”, “slut”, “rebel”, “lost”, “adulterer”, “abuser”...these are just some of the horrific labels that can be cast upon us, yet do not represent who we truly are.
“He without sin, cast the first stone.” ~ John 8:7, The Bible
We are all messy humans, and we have all done things that do not represent our authentic, true selves.
We are not meant to live with the labels placed on us by others. We are not meant to fit into a box. We know within ourselves our authentic truth and who we are.
I will warn you. People in your life may not be comfortable with you removing the names or labels placed upon you. They may not understand it, and they may reject your decisions to disassociate yourself with those labels. Know that has nothing to do with you. It is simply where they are on their own journeys.
“When she transformed into a butterfly, the caterpillars spoke not of her beauty, but of her weirdness. They wanted her to change back into what she always had been. But she had wings.” ~ Dean Jackson
The labels I have had thrown on me throughout the years of my life often left me feeling disconnected from myself, unworthy, and always striving to be something so incongruent with my authentic self. For most of my early life, I lived in a way I thought others wanted me to live. I strived to fit into the boxes places around me. Yet, I have done self-work and healing in order to grow, learn, and release the things placed upon me that do not serve my highest and best.
As I mentioned above, my legal first name means something that actually conflicts greatly with the way I want to live my daily life. So, I have decided to use a name that I feel represents me.
You may wonder, how did I come up with Sophia Luna?
Sophia means “wisdom”, and Luna is Latin for “moon”. I have always had an affinity with the moon. And over the past few years, it has come to bring much meaning to me. I see beauty and wisdom in the phases of the moon because I see how those phases represent life...from birth to death. When we are born, we are like a new moon. We move through life, get to our peak (i.e. fullness), and then move to our death.
Life is a beautiful, wise, natural process.
Through the experiences of my life, I continue to learn who I am. And given the love I have for every phase of life, and the wisdom that comes from living in and growing from those experiences, I feel Sophia Luna truly represents who I am, my life’s purpose, and the work I am here to do as a life coach, writer, and speaker. Me choosing that name in no way disrespects anyone in my life.
It simply represents me.
So, share with me, if you had the desire to rename yourself, what would that name be? What names or labels have been placed on you that do not represent your authentic self? What labels do you want to release? Comment in the section below, or connect with me by clicking here or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Tear off the mask. Your face is glorious.” ~ Rumi
(Please note: In my writing, some names have been changed to protect loved ones. I share my experiences and stories while honoring the privacy of those dear to my heart.)