Over the past 16 months I have lived through a separation and divorce from my husband of almost 28 years. The first thing that I want to say is that I dearly love the man I was married to, however we both wanted to live life in very different ways. We both realised that we could not continue to live together as the tension and pain of each other’s ‘wanting the other to be different’ was constant and causing us both much heartache.
So we decided to separate and then divorce when we were able to. The process of this was done with deep respect, and at times, with a deep love of each other as we organised and moved through this challenging time.
What this has brought up for me is the question of whether I change my name back to my maiden name or stay with my married name?
This possibility has been on my mind for some time, with the following thoughts filling my head:
- Will changing name hurt my children?
- Will it hurt my ex-husband if I seemingly abandon his name?
- It is a lot of work to change my name with having to contact all the businesses that I deal with, telling friends and relatives… the list goes on.
But this morning I lay very still in bed and allowed myself to feel each name – first my maiden name. Immediately I felt a sweetness, a purity and an innocence inside of me. I then felt my married name and immediately felt myself ‘shut off’ the sweetness. This didn’t feel very nice in my body – I felt rather sad, dense and somewhat numb. What was so very marked though was that I no longer felt the sweetness I had held before marrying.
First and foremost, it is not my husband’s fault that I felt this way. It was completely my choice to shut myself off to the sweetness that I held within. It was like getting married flicked a switch inside of me that said – OK, now you have to toughen up, you have responsibilities, you are a wife and you have to care for your husband, your thoughts and philosophies on life no longer matter, you have to take on those of my husband’s… and that my friends were no longer important. I had a husband now and he was the most important thing in my life.
This continued as our married life matured. When I became a mother, the many pressures and expectations this brought reinforced the choice to harden that I had adopted. This continued to be my pattern as I began to be a very hands-on parent during the schooling years, and also an active community member.
All the while there was a resentment and bitterness growing inside of me. The hardened way I was living completely shut me off from accepting any help or support, as I saw such care as a criticism and so pushed away anyone who loved me and wanted to support me. My outside persona constantly said that “I was alright; I don’t need you.” The hardening shut down my ability to be open and honest and to lovingly accept support; I was unable to simply share what was happening for me and most importantly, how I was feeling.
This morning’s experience has brought much understanding as to how one’s life is forever changed, moulded and lived from the choices we make.
Back to the question, do I change my name? Earlier today I would have said hands down, yes change it back to my maiden name, that is when you felt and lived your sweetness to the best of your ability. That by marrying and hence taking on my married name all of the sweetness was buried seems simple, right?
Well, actually no; as I write this tonight I can feel very clearly that the change of name is not that important – what is important is that I have recognised what I did to myself in my belief of how I needed to be in my marriage. That I could clearly feel the choice I made to shut down such a beautiful part of myself and that I can at any time, no matter what name I hold, open up again to my sweetness and everything that comes with it.
It now feels that if I change back to my maiden name I will not be giving myself the grace to heal the hardness that I brought into my life from the moment I married. It would be like ‘running away’ from accepting the choice I made to harden, to hold back the purity and sweetness that has always been within me. As I open again, allowing my sweetness, already there are many moments flashing before me of the way I was living in my marriage and the countless interactions that came from my hardness. As I see each one and read the energy that I was choosing to use at that moment, I am becoming aware of the tension that I have held in my body from living this way. I am aware of this because my body is literally releasing this tension with each memory.
It feels almost scary to let my sweetness out, to let it be seen and felt inside of me. I have not done so since before I was 20 years old – I feel very vulnerable and fragile. But underneath all of this there is a sense of surrender, a ‘thank goodness’ that I am choosing to return to my true essence and its presence that is very palpable. That to know another intimately will become my natural way, because I am choosing to know myself intimately again.
So the question to change my name is not the true question that I was asking: what I was asking is, am I prepared to live again, explore, get to know and share with the world the sweetness, innocence and purity of my essence?
Thank you Serge Benhayon: your love and dedication to truth has ignited the same within myself.
Published with permission of my ex-husband.
By Leigh Strack, Goonellabah, NSW
Divorce – A Gift of Love
A True Family Model for the 21st Century
End of a Relationship and the Expression of Love
566 thoughts on “To Change My Name or Not – That is the Question”
How many of us go into a relationship with fed ‘pictures’ of how it should be and because we have these set pictures there is this expectation of as you say Leigh, ‘wanting the other to be different’
Our names are so transitory but the way we live our Livingness will support our evolution in so many ways! Maybe Water is more to do with our evolution than blood, which is setting the cat amongst the pigeon’s which is possibly an acronym for a bit of blood letting?
Interesting how a name change (or other actions for that matter) when not done as a true call, but done out of reaction can actually end up causing damage to oneself or others (children, partners etc). And yet when the same action is done as a true calling, it offers a healing for self and all others.
There is a lot of symbolism in a name change and sometimes it is a needed thing to support with a change, but in the end there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ but rather each situation that unfolds itself to reveal what is needed.
Henrietta I agree with you there is no right or wrong but rather each situation that unfolds itself to reveal what is needed.
I know someone who decided to keep their married name even though they remarried because they felt that it wasn’t necessary it’s not the name but how they felt about themselves that mattered.
Leigh absolutely gorgeous sharing and I loved in particular how you shared about working through it all to come to the realisation that the name change was not what it was about, but rather that it was about the surrendering to the deeper part of you that was being asked.
Aligning to our Essence, Inner-most-heart / Soul allows us to heal any hurt and live in a True relationship with everyone and thus allow our evolution to deeper levels of Love.
Leigh, this is your name. A beautiful re-connection to the sweetness and vulnerability of who you naturally are.
I reckon most would weight up the answer to that question based on how much of a hassle it would be to inform people and businesses etc. But when you go underneath all of that, to the energy of choices made and to be made, then life gets a lot more interesting!
Leigh reading your blog today was a great reminder that every choice we make has the power to either let out who we truly are or cover it up, but nothing outside of us is greater than our own free will.
Every choice we make is an opportunity and every opportunity that we get offers a choice – each one leads to the consequences which will depend on our choices and the intent behind those choices and the energy that we were in when we made the choice. Melinda you make a great point about each moment being an offering for us to live and let out all of who we are.
This is such a huge question you are posing Leigh
“am I prepared to live again, explore, get to know and share with the world the sweetness, innocence and purity of my essence?”
We are so conditioned by the way we live as you discovered that we shut ourselves down through ideals and beliefs that we take on without considering the impact they have on us or the people around us. The world is not set up to allow us to feel our sweetness or preciousness we are bludgeoned by our spirit that does not want to return to our essence because if we did it would have to rejoin the soul which is something it seperated from long ago to create this false ghastly life we all live.
“am I prepared to live again, explore, get to know and share with the world the sweetness, innocence and purity of my essence?” What a beautiful question and one we could all ask ourselves, knowing that there is no end point to these qualities and that they can give us as much joy in expressing them as to those with whom we share .
It is funny (or not so funny) how we let so many situations affect us ‘It was like getting married flicked a switch inside of me’ we should have our inner flame burning bright the whole time no matter what happens in our life.
Absolutely Vicky, but everything is set up to keep our fiery Soul dulled down, so we have to re-align to our Essence, Inner-most-heart / Soul so we can respond to life and not be affected.
I agree Vicky but we are conditioned from birth on how to be and live in this world the rules of engagement are interesting to say the least my generation was taught that girls would grow up knowing that it was their duty to get married have children and obey their husbands, you did not have a life outside of these set parameters. Thankfully this Victorian way of living is not the trend any more but both men and women are still held within a consciousness that does not let them have true free will, we think we are free to make choices but these have been preset for us.
What a beautiful opportunity to reflect on the changes you have made in life and where you are today. As you have so honestly shared Leigh, it is not the change in name but how you have interpreted the world around you, the roles you have taken on and the pictures that have come with them. the sweetness is still within and this time of reflection means that it will once again be a living way in your life. I, too have changed my name more than once and this has given me an opportunity to reflect more deeply on what I bring and whether I am bringing all of me free of the choices and changes I have made as dictated by the ideals and beliefs i have held.