“What’s in a name?That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.” (Romeo and Juliette, William Shakespeare)

Every time I see a rose, I am reminded of this quote. Three roses, photographed at Churchill's place of birth. Garden flowers that for many have a significance, an emotional attachment, a symbolism, an expection, a desire. 

It is interesting how much we attach to a bunch of petals that bunch up together as just another expresion of reality. 

And it is also interesting how us as human beings, we are so precious about our identity, something constructed, something that is not real, something that we imagine that we are or might be, but an identity that if someonedisrespected it, we are willing to kill for it. Wow, that escalated quickly. But, in all fairness how many of us are holding onto something that we call identity and if we are not recognised for it, we are willing to use harsh words?

In the past 2 weeks I have been dealing with some clients who used the word "disrespected" or referring to others as "rude" every time they felt their identity under threat. The interesting part is that whilst they say that they were disrespected, they in turn disrespect others.They get defensive when they feel their identity threatened, but they have no issue threatenning other's identity.What makes identity so important? What if your identity change from one day to the next? What if you had to call yourself something else? Will you cease to exist? Just because by convention we call this flower you see in the image a rose, does it make it not be a flower if we called it something else? But what if we did not call it a flower anymore, and we called it something else, would it stop existing? or do we clin to the name because it gives us comfort? Or maybe it give us a point of refference? What is it about identity that makes it sacred, something not to be trampled on? What makes us want to define ourselves so much, that if someone does not reconise that in us, we feel like we are about to die and we need to defend it? 

I posed a challenge, the other day, create a life time line of your life, identify what makes you , YOU. Were you able to recognise things, patterns, events, behavoours, beliefs, that makes you, YOU? Do you think that your history contributes to your identity? Does your genetics contribute to your identity? Does the flavour of your tea contribute to your identity? Does the type of salt that you use in your food contribute to your identity? By shedding that skin in the shower when you used the loofa damaged your identity? Did you lose a part of yourself by losing that strand of hair whilst brushing your hair?
Perhaps you do not think that shedding your skin or losing your hair equals losing your identity, but what if you did? For some losing any part of who they are is a massive event, for some if others do not recognise in them; that which they themselves feel they should be recognised for; it is the end of the world. So I am asking again, what makes your crumble?

"What’s in a name?" What is identity and is it worth it?


  • Ps: It is just a name....and yet  "From the Hebrew name גַבְרִיאֵל (Gavri'el) meaning "God is my strong man", derived from גֶּבֶר (gever) meaning "strong man, hero" and אֵל ('el) meaning "God". Gabriel is an archangel in Hebrew tradition, often appearing as a messenger of God. In the Old Testament he is sent to interpret the visions of the prophet Daniel, while in the New Testament he serves as the announcer of the births of John to Zechariah and Jesus to Mary. According to Islamic tradition he was the angel who dictated the Quran to Muhammad. This name has been used occasionally in England since the 12th century. It was not common in the English-speaking world until the end of the 20th century. "(https://www.behindthename.com/name/gabriel) 
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