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Name It! Don’t underestimate the value naming carries

By Chardonnay Beaver

Being that I’m named after a French white wine, names have always been fascinating to me. However, I was not named Chardonnay because my parents were lovers of white wine.

I was named after this french white wine because my father, in his eccentric nature, believed my personality would be sweet, yet subtly spicy— like Chardonnay. I actually couldn’t agree more with that reasoning, as he was quite accurate.

The right to give something a name is invaluable. Our ability to creatively identify something or someone through one word, for their entire life, is an ancient practice. Names carry deeply personal, spiritual, historical and familial connections. In many cultures, one’s name is associated with their social ranking.

Yet, in this week's column, I want to discuss a different type of ‘naming’.

Are you familiar with the practice of ‘naming’ your lived experiences? As a storyteller, I often examine ‘how’ I choose to narrate my experiences, and the understanding my audience may gain.

Prior to telling a story, I first ‘name’ the experience. Was this experience revealing? Was this experience limiting? Was this experience exciting?

In short, every experience needs a name. Without a name those experiences can’t be identified or valued. Naming helps us to associate a greater sense of purpose to our lived experiences.

Recently, I decided I would name my experiences before I endure them. For example, before I experience my day I will ‘name’ it extraordinary.

Words of Wisdom by Char of the Week: Name it and claim it. What new names do you need to call yourself? Seize self-deprecating name calling. You are wonderfully complex. May God himself know you by name and grant you honor. Philippians 2:10-11.

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