He Called Me By My True Name.
I am. Two words that in essence are unambiguous. They are a declaration of strength, faith and self-worth.
We don’t often see them like this, on their own. Most of the time we like to add something to them. A name, a profession or a trait. Something that adds meaning to who the I is.
Sometimes you yourself have chosen the word that follows, sometimes that word is determined by someone else. Either way, are the words real? Or are they an illusion?
It starts at our birth, or even before that, when our parents are anxious to know who we are. It’s the first couple of words that are added to us: you are a boy or you are a girl.
Very soon it is followed by your first name, and after that, your family name — how you are going to be called from then on and to which family do you belong.
The religion you grow up with, your education level, your environment, the country you live in, which continent you grow up in — these are all things that automatically become part of your world and who you are going to be.
People will try to label you with their words. Whether they come from situations they experienced with you or not. Words formed by their perception of the world and formed by their own beliefs.
And then there are the words you yourself collect throughout your life. Shaped by what you’ve been through, with which you’ve convinced yourself that this is what you are.
Piece by piece you’ve gathered these words and they now make up your world. They make up your reality. And you believe that this is who you should be, clearly marked by boundaries.
I’ve been called many things in my life. I am a woman. I am Linda. I am raised in the rural eastern part of this country. I am a resident of a geographically very small part of this huge planet. I am raised with the saying Just be normal, that’s crazy enough.
Others loved to label me with their words, like direct, headstrong, intense and introvert.
Throughout my life I learned to replace them with other words, like honest, independent, intuitive and sensitive.
For a long time I’ve looked at this collection of words as my world, as my reality. And within the limitations of these words I’ve ventured out to find my possibilities.
But are these words my reality? I keep wondering if they are.
I find that my world is much bigger than the words I’ve given myself or with which others have labeled me. I find that there are more words, more possibilities, and that the boundaries I think of as real are an illusion.
I learned this one day when I set out to find a new job, trying to do things in my usual way. And I stumbled upon him and he asked me who I was.
I repeated the words that I’d known as my reality for so long, to which he responded, “Why do you keep calling yourself that way? That’s not who you are. You are a writer, you’re a storyteller.”
Mystified, I looked at him. Thinking or imagining myself in a new way was one thing. Hearing somebody else, a complete stranger, calling me that was totally different.
It sounded so good, and in a strange way, it sounded familiar.
It changed my way of looking at who I am. It changed the path that, from that moment on, I was going to take.
He called me by my true name, and it made all the difference.
The world is so much bigger now, and this is only the beginning.
Linda van der Kwast is a writer, a storyteller and a soon-to-be aura reader. She loves to explore what it is that moves people, and she has no fear of diving deep into a human soul to find that out. She likes to shed a light on things to guide people find their way back. It inspired her to start her website, believing that every person can be free to express herself who she is. At times she mistakes the sea to be her home, and you’ll find her at the beach, far horizons filling her eye, wondering what’s out there. Closer to home, you can meet her at Facebook or Twitter with a cup of tea and chocolate, balancing between expressing herself in Dutch and English.