Madeleine L’Engle, A Wind in the Door
Names have meaning whether given at birth or later in life. I choose to go by the name Andie on here. It gives some anonymity from those who I don’t choose to share the parts of myself with that I share in this blog. It is also a nickname tied to a place I love though it is not my given name. I know who I am. My given names bare the meaning of “beautiful rejoicing”. I am glad to bear that in my spirit even as I wear this name in my writing.
When my children were born, their names were given as prayers based on needs I saw in life. “Peaceful gift of God”, “Strength and truth”, and “Harvester of joy” became prayers that each would find the deep current to carry them through life. Their names were the gift of a young mother to whoever they choose to become. How fitting each is proving to be for the courses they pursue in their growing lives.
The names we give to our intents often tell us the deeper names we give to ourselves. These often come from the conditioned beliefs in our lives. As a friend helped me remember in a conversation last weekend, what I called “malicious” on my part, did not have that deep negativity to her as she heard the event. Through life, I had accepted the names of “sassy brat”, “problem ” and many others that had more to do with the expectations of others than of an intent to be hurtful. Each time a friend points out these volatile descriptors I am brought face-to-face with the hopeful one inside of me longing to feel accepted, to feel that she has a place of belonging in the world.
Naming is like the events in Madeleine L’Engle’s book, A Wind in the Door. Misunderstanding the name that speaks truly to the heart of who I am or who another person is creates a rent in the universe, a black place where something is missing that deeply belongs. In the book, It finally comes to Meg’s decision. Will she stop looking at the person, Mr. Jenkins, as her antagonist and just let him be who he is? Will that understanding not only bring a solution to the problem but also bring her to see something deep within herself that she has been missing all along? The x, the negating nothingness, wins if we allow any of us to lose our own identities to the negation often encouraged by our judgments of them and of ourselves.
What Meg decided had the power to bring healing to the world she lived in. What we decide has potential to bring healing in ours.
L’Engle, Madeleine; A Wind in the Door, 1973