"Sometimes it happens that we receive the power to say yes to ourselves, that peace enters us whole, that self-hate and self-contempt disappear, and that our self is reunited with itself. Then we can say that grace has come upon us."
~~Paul Tillich, quoted in The Five Things We Cannot Change by David Richo
I blogged just over a year ago about my given first name and my lack of connection to it. As mentioned, I have a hyphenated first name, the first part of which is the name of my maternal grandmother. It is an old English name. And it feels old. And I've never liked it.
The second half of my first name is "Anne" and it has always felt more like me. It means "grace", which is what I feel I've been blessed with in this life and what I hope is my blessing to the world around me.
Back in 2000, during a training workshop, I had to present a subject to my peers. My evaluating instructor, a Santa-like man in appearance and character, watched from the back of the room as I demonstrated developmental movements for the class.
Later that afternoon during the Graduating ceremony, he handed me my diploma, pulled me into an embrace and whispered into my ear, "You are filled with such grace." And he kissed me on the cheek. He died a few years later of a congenital heart defect. I believe his heart was bigger than his body could hold.
His words have stuck with me. Words often do. And I feel myself moving into this grace. I feel it emanate from my soul as well as surround me. It feels like home.
So, as I celebrate my 34th year on this planet, I am re-birthing myself, creating myself anew, and to that end, giving myself a new name. I have chosen a form of the name Anne that resonates more deeply with me. It retains the original meaning of "grace" and has the added meaning of "inexhaustible" in Sanskrit. A perfect fit if I do say so myself.
Hello. My name is Anya. Pleased to meet you.