What’s in a Name? 3 Spiritual Reasons that Your Name Matters

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What’s in a Name? 3 Spiritual Reasons that Your Name Matters

Adapted from Monica and Michael Berg’s Spiritually Hungry podcast. Listen and subscribe here.
September 18, 2023
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“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell just as sweet.” Juliet speaks this line in William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet to convey her feelings that the name of something is irrelevant. With no disrespect to Juliet, our names actually hold an incredible amount of importance in our lives. 

Whether naming a business, a child, or a new pet, we often pour a great deal of thought into choosing a name, and for good reason! Studies have shown that we have a psychological connection with our names. The way we feel about our names affects our mental wellness, outlook on life, and self-reflection. There are even stereotypes around certain names that influence the way people look at us, with some names being associated with “intelligence” or “wealth,” for instance. But beyond this, names have tremendous spiritual significance as well. 

Here are 3 spiritual reasons that your name matters:

1. Your name is the conduit for the Light of the Creator to flow into your life.
The Kabbalists often say that when there is something wrong with a person’s name, then there may be something lacking in the type of Light and blessings that person is able to draw into their life. So much so that they even suggest changing one’s name if they are having consistent bad luck. This is because our names are the means through which we are connected to the Light of the Creator.

Just like electrical wires that stretch from telephone poles into our homes, providing a conduit for the energy, our names connect us to the Creator and act as channels through which blessings flow into our lives. They are not just an assembly of letters or sounds to call someone by but a powerful tether between us and the Creator. 

2. Your name connects you to those who came before you.
The wisdom of Kabbalah teaches that our souls have names even before we come into this physical world. Souls that come from the same branch of the Tree of Life share the same name in the spiritual world. When our name is connected to the same branch as a righteous soul, we are naturally connected to the power of that righteous soul.

The naming of anything (especially when it comes to a child) is not necessarily about choosing what name we like or don’t like but rather about coming to know the actual name of the soul. Naming a child after someone else may limit their potential and weigh them down with unnecessary baggage, or it can connect them with the power of the righteous souls that have come before them. Through meditating and determining that soul’s name, we can connect that soul with a powerful conduit of Light that had existed before they were born.

3. Living up to your name means living up to your soul’s potential.
The wisdom of Kabbalah teaches that after a person dies, they are asked by the Creator, “What is your name, and did you live up to it?” In other words, our names represent our potential. The purpose of our lives while we are in this physical world is to build our names through actions of sharing, transformation, and growth. 

To ensure you are expanding your name and living up to your potential, take an accounting of your soul every day before bed or when you wake up in the morning. Ask yourself: Where did I fail? Where did I succeed? How can I do better? Am I doing what my soul came to this world to do? If you ask these questions each day, it becomes easier to invest energy in the places that will build you up the most. 

What’s in a name? A lot, apparently. Not only does our name affect how we see ourselves and how others view us, it has important spiritual functions. It connects us to the Creator, to the souls that came before us, and to our own potential. Take ownership of your name and understand that it is the conduit of your soul’s Light. Endeavor to fill that name up with as much Light and potential today. 

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