There is something more valuable than wealth–a good name. According to Proverbs 22:1, “If you must choose, take a good name rather than great riches…” (TLB). A name should be carefully considered as it reflects more than the sound it makes when uttered.
Getting this post to print has been most challenging. I have wrestled with many thoughts, ideas and commentaries. It isn’t as though recent world events haven’t given me sufficient topics to address. Still, I wasn’t led to pen my thoughts on those, just yet. So, I found myself reaching back and tweaking a few pieces from the not so distant past. I decided to share my thoughts on the matter of names and naming.
I’ll start with my own name. I am not named after anyone in my family, although the choice is based upon family pride. My birth name is Eileene Bridgett. It was all my mother’s doing. I don’t know that she intended to give me the most Irish name any Black girl could hope for–but it may explain my peripheral interest in Celtic culture (LBVS). She simply searched the baby name book and chose two that would ensure we carried the same initials. I often thought I’d do the same if blessed with a daughter of my own–you know, as to establish a family tradition. Oddly enough, my mother never referred to me by my first name. I was called Bridgett because she thought it the prettier of the two. For years, she misspelled it as Bridgette (clearly she had a fascination with the letter “e”). However, while preparing my applications for high school graduation I sought out my birth certificate and was delighted to know there was no “e” on the end of my spelling of Bridgett. [Sadly, I get offended when my name is misspelled, especially when I provide the spelling as a signature or in completion of a form–but, I digressed.] With the exception of a few college years and in my places of employment, I am rarely called by my first name. I am either Bridgett, or E Bridgett; and occasionally, E for those who must shorten everything. Within my inner circle, a dear friend refers to me as EB Jr, and I kinda like that!
My mother and father never married, but my mother insisted upon giving me his surname–Ryland. Perhaps she anticipated someday she, too, would bear the Ryland name. I resented this for many years and vowed to change my last name once I became an adult. Well, by that time I had become used to it and just resolved it would be changed once I married. Since my mother’s passing in 2010, I have become closer to my father. I also have two younger siblings, so being a Ryland has proven to be a thing worth cherishing.
Although I had a childhood nickname, it was not one used after I left the infant stage. Unlike Peggy, Butch, Bubba, Peewee or Sister–a few of my first cousins–I didn’t go by any name other than Bridgett. That is, until I took a summer vacation to California and discovered I was in love with the sun. I dubbed myself Suni, and the name stuck. [My mother was not a fan and made the customary scowl anytime it was mentioned in her presence.] For me, however, it has been the name and persona to which I escape when being Bridgett becomes too much. Suni is confident and carefree; she’s a free spirit, and she is the best part of me. Ironically, the definition of Eileene is “light” and Bridgett is defined as “strong.” I’d say it’s rather fitting that Eileene Bridgett’s nickname would be Suni, which can be interpreted as a strong ray of light. Works for me!
That’s it for the name that I’m called by; now to the name my blog is called by: Transparency Bloggin’. I originally began blogging with the name I’d given to my writing business–Words In Print (I prefer to see it without the spaces). I added “by Suni” as part of the signature that closes each post. When I moved from blogger.com to WordPress, I made the decision to change the blog title to something that addressed what I hoped to be–transparent. I really don’t know any other way to be, so it, too, is quite fitting. Of course, my readers will be the one’s to determine if I’m meeting my goal.
It is my mother who often spoke of my writing abilities as worthy of sharing with the world. She would constantly express her expectation that I would write a New York Times best seller. I didn’t believe in myself as much as she did. Then, she died. Suddenly, I was alone and my earthly anchor had been hoisted away. In what felt like an instant, I accepted her belief in me. I wanted to accomplish all the things she said I should–and believed I would. I write for several reasons:
I write because I believe my ability to write well is a gift from God. I write because I believe it is meant to edify those who read what I write. I write because I enjoy the process, from thought to words-in-print. I write because I have something to say. I write because I must.
As for the blog’s tag line, “ENCOURAGE, EDIFY, EXHORT AND ENLIGHTEN EVERYDAY PEOPLE THROUGH EVERYDAY EXPERIENCES,” well I guess I’m a fan of the letter “e”, too! That, and I have the “I-just-can’t-help-it” syndrome when it comes to speaking Life into the lives of others.
There is another name I have received from the Lord. It is Gazelle. I’m still learning all I can and gaining an understanding of this heavenly designation. I received some prophetic words over the years that support this name, although I received it in a night vision from the Lord. In a nutshell, the Creator has wired me to be an agent of change in this atmosphere of life in the earth. My presence, my gifts and my words were ordained to change the atmosphere–where there is death, life enters in; where there is frustration, peace invades; where there is doubt, faith ignites, and so on. I accept my assignment in the earth. I acknowledge my purpose, and I have witnessed my passion flow when I have surrendered to my calling. I speak MY name, Eileene Bridgett “Suni” Ryland, and I honor the Lord with every breath, every word and every hope of leaving this life empty of my gifts because I have purposely poured them out into the lives of those I encounter. I speak MY name, with humble appreciation for who I am–and most importantly, who’s I am. I am His, and He is mine, and we are one (see John 17:20-23, listen to Israel & New Breed’s I Know Who I Am, and read the inspirational poetry of “Full of Roses,” another blog I follow).
In closing, I have one question for you: Who are you, and what is your name? Tell me, so I may speak your name, too! ~WordsInPrint by Suni