Thursday, 26 January 2017

Own YOUR labels...

... and love them.

No, I’m not talking D&G, Gucci, Louboutin, or George J that is perhaps a topic for another day. For the purposes of this post I’m talking about the labels we attach to ourselves, the words that define who we are, how we want to be known and why.

Many people put a great deal of thought into the names they give their children, others… not so much, I can think of many names that have had me widen my eyes and think well alright then, but hey if it works for them it works if not there is always deed poll. But I digress… Where I’m from the name given to a child can be based on various combinations of the following and more: the area and/or tribe they are from, the time of year they were born, circumstances surrounding their birth, their position in the family, the hopes and dreams parents have for their child or they may be named after a relative. People become their names and more importantly their labels.

My eldest son is named Jamal which is an Arabic name meaning beauty, he is a beautiful person inside and out. He KNOWS his name as a teacher of his found out when she insisted on calling him “Je-rh-mil” and after he attempted to correct her got sent out of class. When discussing the issue my child simply said “it’s just that is not my name.” I had to agree with him. Why would you let someone call you something you are not? I had a similar situation with my second child Talal (Arabic name meaning gift, and he is!) who in a discussion stated that he would no longer be accepting people calling him black because he is clearly brown. Both instances got me thinking about the importance of defining yourself, if you don’t know who you are how can you let other people know.

When I was a child I knew who I was. My name is Lumuni, meaning bright light, affectionately known as Lulu. I loved my name it is unique, I was unique, I could do anything because of my uniqueness I was happy, light and ready to conquer the world. But then people began to remix my name, I got called Lemontree, the moonie and more. At first I would correct people then I gave in and denounced the name telling everyone to just call me Lulu. This coupled with a few negative life experiences separated me from who I truly am. I let other people tell me who I was and learned to adapt myself to make sure other people were comfortable with me which got really uncomfortable for me. Thankfully, I have learned to do the work to find my way back. It’s not been easy and I am nowhere near done, self-improvement is a continuous process it keeps us alive. I can only change myself, I have had to listen to what I am saying to myself, change the script to support loving me which has changed the way I act, interact, and experience life for the better.

Labels I choose to attach to myself today are caring, loving, talented, Queen of my dance-floor. I have fun with my labels. I am still affectionately known as Lulu, I love being Lumuni and anyone who wishes to call me that must do so correctly, remixes kindly check yourself at the door.

Get back to being you. Listen to the names you are teaching the world to know you by. Change labels you don’t like keep ones you do. Be fabulous. Be you, because no one does you better. 

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