"All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible." ~ T. E. Lawrence
“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”
Mr. Shakespeare, I’d like to respectfully contest. I’ve mulled this one over for a few months and I don’t think that if you called a rose a lily it would be the same. Mind you, lilies are my favorite flower. Names, by their very nature, have an energy about them. Most of us on here are writers, we understand the power of words already. So grasping the energy of names doesn’t seem like a stretch.
That power of names is something that historians, writers, and storytellers have captured for centuries. They were lent supernatural characteristics. Names could inspire hope or terror. History and even mythology have shown countless people being renamed to signify a turning point in their lives. And names could even have prophetic significance, a kind of mark for life.
Some people hope to name a new baby something unique, different, and special. But there are whole cultures focused on the idea that the meaning of the name is most important. My parents were of that mind and I’m grateful for that. I feel like it immediately inspires a sense of legacy.
Audrey is an Anglo-Saxon name that means Noble Strength. My mom named me for Audrey Hepburn, her favorite actress. I love that she’s my namesake, it already lends a sense of beauty and awe just in having such an iconic woman carry my name before me. But ever since I was 3, I remember my parents telling me what my name meant, as though ardently wishing that I could live out that meaning fully. My grandmother gave me a bookmark before I could even read that had my name and it’s meaning on it. I would ask her to read it to me periodically and she would explain the power of those words. Even then, my toddler mind could understand there was something important about my name. It was the first word I learned to write when I was three.
Here I am, nearly 22 years later and you know what? My name has become my mantra for life, my inspiration when things are difficult. I ended up boiling it down to “Grace and Strength”. It’s what I
gasp chant when I run and the hills are kicking my butt. It’s what I whisper to myself in a crowded room of strangers when I want to bolt for the door be an introvert. It’s the call to action when I feel battered and helpless through the daily storms of life. And it drives me and fills my heart with hope for the present and future. Knowing what my name means makes me want to fully embody it. I truly believe that through life we don’t find ourselves, we choose ourselves. And I choose to embrace Audrey.
Grace and Strength.
I whisper it and can feel my spirit rise up within me instantly.
So what’s in a name? Plenty. I always want to see others inspired to live fully and richly. And sometimes it takes something like the meaning of a name or a mantra to help keep that at the forefront of the mind.
So what’s your name mean?
And what’s your mantra?