(This post is dedicated to my beautiful friend who is drowning in a sea of self-pity, completely blind to her incredible worth while attempting to numb the pain of reality through addiction. May God save you from yourself, friend. I love you!)
Has this ever happened to you?
Not just to those of you who woke up this morning beside someone who’s name you didn’t know or couldn’t remember, so you slid out from under the covers relieved to find that you were still wearing the clothes from last night. Luckily you were able to slip out undetected and make the walk of shame home or back to your last stop to pick up your car. (For those of you who are reading this thinking, it’s Tuesday morning! Who does that on a Monday night?! Congratulations! You are not a hopeless alcoholic or drug addict.)
I’m also talking to those who forget introductions right after they happen (I know this happens because I do it). Trying with all your might to remember someone you just met who holds the future of your career in their hands. Or someone you were supposed to connect with about a job interview in this bad economy where one cannot take any referrals for granted.
I have heard that when being introduced to someone, if you will repeat their name 3 times in your head, you are sure to remember it. Tried it. Didn’t work. Maybe I’ve killed to many braincells?
How about this one…have you ever forgotten your own name? Sounds crazy, right?
Well, call me crazy, there was a time when I forgot my own name.
Not in the literal sense, mind you, in a far more devastating way.
It may be better said that I denied my name, ignoring who I was and falling prey to what I had become, which I thought at the time, defined me.
Joy by definition means;
a : the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires : delight b : the expression or exhibition of such emotion : gaiety
2 : a state of happiness or felicity : bliss
3 : a source or cause of delight
Just look how many different fun and happy ways the word can be written. Google it! You will not find it written in any other way than that which is uplifting and…happy.
There was a time in my life when I was anything but one of these definitions. It’s a lot of pressure to walk around with a name that means happiness, delight, well-being. I mean seriously. How could my mother have been so mean when deciding what to call me?! Knowing that every time I introduced myself to someone they would expect me to be happy ALL the time. Right? I mean, how can you walk around angry, sad or expressing any negative emotion whatsoever when your name is something that means happiness?! (This is assuming of course that she thought through all of the scenario’s that I would be in for the rest of my life)
My mom has said that she almost named me Ginger with a J (Jinger). My dad didn’t like the name, thank the Lord! He said that no one would spell it right and I would forever be known as Ginger with a J. So when I look at it that way, I am incredibly grateful. (No offense to any of you Gingers with a J!)
I had a roommate at the peak of my self destructive behavior who called me out on my bs. When she had finally had enough of my lying, stealing, destructive behavior, she told me that I had until the end of the month to move out. I was so angry with her.
She didn’t ask that I pay her back the money she had given me to pay the utility, phone or water bill, after I spent it on drugs (more than once) or the cash that I freely claimed as my own if it was laying out anywhere. She simply asked me to leave.
She later told me (when I was capable of listening) that she hoped she was saving my life, because instead of a Joy, I had become a Pain. Instead of being a source of light and hope, I evoked hopelessness. (Ouch!)
Pain by definition means;
2 a : usu. localized physical suffering associated with bodily disorder (as a disease or an injury); also : a basic bodily sensation induced by a noxious stimulus, received by naked nerve endings, characterized by physical discomfort (as pricking, throbbing, or aching), and typically leading to evasive action b : acute mental or emotional distress or suffering : grief
3 plural : the throes of childbirth
4 plural : trouble, care, or effort taken to accomplish something <was at pains to reassure us>
5 : one that irks or annoys or is otherwise troublesome —often used in such phrases as pain in the neck
She was right! I am beyond grateful that she had the courage to stand up to me and say she wasn’t going to stand by and watch me self destruct. I am so thankful that she did not, instead, enable me to continue down the path I was on. That, my friends, is real love. It’s difficult, honest and unconditional.
It has taken over a decade, but I am coming back into my name. Sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly (that would be me…the sometimes slowly part!).
Instead of my path of destruction that looked similar to this…
I now do a lot more of this…
Today, I love my name. Don’t get me wrong, I can fall into that same old pattern of thinking. The difference being that I now have the tools to snap out of it before I am on a full blown trip of my big ugly ego.
It’s a daily, sometimes hourly, surrender. Turning it over to the One who knows me best. Giving up control and admitting that when it comes to managing my own life, I suck at it. Asking for Divine help. Forget this earthly garble. I want something with an eternal guarantee!
So today, I am owning my name. FINALLY, at 35 years old. Well, someone congratulate me!
If you are like I was, broken and without hope, but there is no one there to speak truth into your heart, I beg you to reach out to someone at one of the resources I am listing below. Click on the name and it will take you directly to the website. As long as you are breathing, there is still hope.
To Write Love on Her Arms
People of the Second Chance
Central Christian Church: Las Vegas