In A Name
Dear Spirit to Spirit friend,
I was talking with a friend the other day about how it is coming to be understood (by science) that mother animals name their young.
Of course, it makes perfect sense that mothers of all species would "name" their newborns (and that we human beings have not decoded all the ways in which this occurs). Just as we speak about our "given name" as human beings, each living being has his/her given name, his/her identifying "sound/name", given by mom, by which s/he knows self and is recognized by others.
When an animal comes to be a part of our blended human/animal family, it rarely crosses our minds that this being already has a name. Not the one that the shelter or another human may have given him/her. But an original name, one that was given in subtle language to this being at birth.
When we look to "name" our new family member, perhaps if we listen with deeper ears, we might intuitively hear/sense/know something of this being's original name and choose a name in our language that resonates with it.
For some animals, it may also be important that the new name reflects something of this next part of the animal's journey in life. Just as we evolve and give up the nicknames of our youth or take on marriage names or new names, animals too are evolving and becoming the next incarnation of themselves, expressing ever more deeply their soul's purpose.
When I met my feline beloved Jaya at the local humane society more than 8 years ago, his name was Jingle. I was stunned at this choice for him as this name did not resonate at all with the beautiful being, the lovely soul who was in front of me.
When Jaya decided that I was his person and my home was his home, I took time between the application process and the day I was to pick him up to tune into, open to his next name. I intuited that it needed to begin with a "J". And that it needed to symbolically express this new phase of his life. And so, over that week, many "J" names floated through me. I was waiting for the spark, the "knowing", the sense of "rightness" of the new name.
And it came when the name "Jaya" entered my awareness. Energy and Light surrounded it, I felt an enormous "YES" in my entire being. In Sanskrit, Jaya means "victory" and this felt so in alignment with Jaya's emergence from the shadows of the shelter life into the victory of being fully himself in his new life.
When Jaya arrived home, I looked directly at him and called him by his name- Jaya. The formerly shy, withdrawing Jingle of the shelter looked at me right in the eyes and gave me a great big energetic YES. He recognized that Jaya was his name. His true name, his right name for who he is becoming in this part of his life. Today, he is fully embodied as Jaya, the victorious one in his own life.
Perhaps part of the takeaway in this is the invitation to sense- as we are together with family members, animal and human at the holiday- the deeper resonance that is present in each one's name and how each is manifesting the beauty of his/her soul through the name.
And if we discover that to fully express depth of his/her soul, someone needs a new name...
In Gratitude & Love, Joanna