I remember when my wife was pregnant with our daughter and we were in that exciting phase of guessing the gender of our baby and then choosing a name. We were super keen to know what we were having, but the baby was not sharing anything during any of the scans we had. We presumed we were having a boy and decided the baby would be called Matthew following an ancient (and somewhat purposeless) tradition in my family of alternating first born males with the name Callan Mathew and then Matthew Callan. With Rosh Hashanah fast approaching our Jewish OB/GYN was keen to induce labour and get this baby out before Jewish New Year. It dawned on us that we may be receiving a baby girl for Rosh Hashanah and started exploring nice Jewish girls’ names for our new year gift. Rachel and Leah weren’t lighting the menorah for us (to coin an expression) and then we came across this beautiful Irish name – Alanah which (amongst many derivatives) means ‘Beautiful Serene One’. We imagined this fantastic creature entering our lives and making us feel complete. Our dreams for her were to be surrounded by love and to bring love into the world. We energised this new being, who we had ached after for 5 long years, to be a remarkable soul who will do something tremendous in this world. I remember that we knew our son was going to be a boy from very early on in the pregnancy – even the untrained eye could tell this from his scans. I knew that he wasn’t meant to be a Matthew. He was nearly a Benjamin except my step sister had her son 10 days before Luke and she chose the name Benjamin. When we paged through name books we kept on arriving at the name Luke which means ‘Light Giving’. We just knew that this little soul was going to bring a lightness of being into our lives and that he would enlighten life wherever he went
Now it is debatable how well Debbie and I have parented our children into the imagined energy we conceived for them and there are times when there is absolutely nothing serene about a teenage girl and at times the only light emanating from Luke is the light reflected from his mobile devices. However, our dreams remain true for these children and I still believe that my daughter is the most beautiful creature (inside and out) I have encountered who can connect with people in a deep and significant way and my son has a spirit and energy that engages people in a way that just causes them to feel happiness. I also firmly believe these two people will make the world a better pace and to that end I believe we have done great work in raising these children, inspiring them to embrace a meaningful life.
So here’s the thing: Your parents give you a name to live into. Are you living into your name the way your parents dreamed you would and are your becoming everything magnificent your name is meant to be in this world and that the world needs from you? Is your life an expression of your potential?