Thursday, February 2, 2017

What's in a Name

Why do you have to go and make things so complicated?
I see the way you're
acting like you're somebody else, gets me frustrated.
And life's like this you fall,
and you crawl and you break and you take what you get and you turn it into.
Honesty, you promised me I'm never gonna find you fake it.
No, no, no (Avril Lavigne, Complicated)

When I started establishing my spiritual identity both in communities like the Spiritual Networks or with my first book, "The Magnificent Experiment", I chose my middle name Christian as a pen name instead of my given name. The main reason was to protect my professional identity, but in the meantime it is more than that. Christian has a different identity than Robert. When I write, I channel spiritual energy towards my readers. Probably every writer will tell you that there is always an element of projecting and transference between writer and readership.

Everything changes though in personal interactions. I remember having a conversation with my co-author Su Zhen when she said to me, "I don't feel the energy that goes with the name Christian". And she was certainly right. When you deal with me directly, even in the spiritual community, you experience someone who is in-between both names. So from that day on I became known as "CR" to my spiritual friends. I will never be entirely Christian as there will always be enough of the "Robert energy" floating around.

Interestingly enough, work has forced me in recent years to own up more to my name Robert. Robert, just like Richard, has poise and drive associated. The Rs are on a roll, so to speak. So just as my spiritual writings have opened up more of my philosophical and loving energies, work has forced me to emphasize my drive, assertiveness and decisiveness instead.

These poised energies are part of me but they don't define me, just as the philosopher and dreamer Christian doesn't define me either. There was a time when I thought that it was my mission to develop the more assertive and forceful nature in order to become whole whereas today I realize that even that persona is merely that, a piece of clothing that you can wear and put away just as you choose.

Today I realize that I was literally born whole; driven and poised just as much as caring, philosophical and collaborative. I merely had to discover and define the two personalities Robert and Christian separately to finally own my wholeness. Looks like I was always CR without realizing it. So it turns out that there is a lot in a name.

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