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What Is Your Name

Usually, when we think about harming someone, visions of some type of violence come to mind. But the truth is that words can sometimes hurt more and have more lasting effects than we would ever have dreamed.

Many years ago, when I was just a child, I loved school, I thought that I had many friends there. We played on the playground, we played ball, we invented stories. But something happened in school the year that I turned eight or nine. That is the year that I discovered that I did not fit in. I can't remember how it happened, although I do know some of the things that lead up to it, but suffice it to say, I was not the same as everybody else, and they knew it. 

My mom was a single mother during a time when that was not the way most kids grew up. It hadn't mattered when we were younger, but that year, it did. One of the boys got mad at me for something I said or did and he started calling me names and it made me cry. Of course, crying in a group of children is never a good idea. The name that he called me stuck ever after and I had to contend with it until we moved away when I was in Junior High.
Sometimes in my mind, I still hear that name. By itself, it is not a bad name, but it wasn't said in a nice way. And more important to me, it wasn't meant in a nice way.  Whenever the other children would come together, they would call me that name and try to make me cry again.  

The saddest thing is that throughout my life, whenever I have felt particularly down on myself, I hear that name in my head, and I have even used it to justify my own feelings of why I am not good enough, or smart enough, or normal enough.  I "become" that name.
Sometimes, we are given names in this life. We have the given names that our parents give to us when we are born. We might even have nick names, usually a term of endearment said by people who love us. They bring good images and good feelings. But we can also receive other names. Things said to us to belittle us. Things said to hurt our feelings and our hearts.  Those names are hard to forget and harder still to put aside.  

Kindness is the essence of a Christ-like life. It is how people should treat each other. Kindness should permeate all of our words and actions at work, at school, at church, and especially in our homes with our loved ones.
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf has stated: 

"When asked to name the greatest commandment, Jesus did not hesitate. “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second [is] like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

Because love is the great commandment, it ought to be at the center of all and everything we do in our own family, in our Church callings, and in our livelihood. Love is the healing balm that repairs rifts in personal and family relationships. It is the bond that unites families, communities, and nations. Love is the power that initiates friendship, tolerance, civility, and respect. It is the source that overcomes divisiveness and hate. Love is the fire that warms our lives with unparalleled joy and divine hope. Love should be our walk and our talk".

My challenge to you today, is to not be guilty of giving someone else a name that hurts. Whether you think you know them or not. Don't be the one that makes them feel like they are unimportant or alone. 

And my next challenge might be even harder. It is to let go of the negative names that you hold within you that you think describe yourself. If those names are still hurting you, than they are now tools that Satan uses to reach inside you and build on your inadequacies and insecurities. Those names are not and never have been truly you. Whenever you are tempted to think you are not good enough remember that you are the son or daughter of a king! You have within yourself all the gifts and blessings that you need to get back home. 

You are not the names that you hear in your mind. You are HIS CHILD!

Patty Ann is a busy mother, grandmother, and wife. She lives her life in the woods she loves up on the top of a beautiful mountain. She loves music, photography and writing. Most of all she loves her Heavenly Father and enjoys writing about his influence in her life. You can find her on her blog at Pitterle Postings

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