I was having dinner with a friend’s family. We are very close, so I know his family very well. That evening, their aunt came to visit and they threw her a lavish dinner in a restaurant. While we waited for our food, I joined in the conversation. Everyone including me, called their aunt, “Aunty”. She was 63 but she looked so good for her age. So, cheekily I said to her that everyone has a name and it was rather awkward to call every woman of her age and beauty, Aunty.
I have met her a few times when she visited my friend’s family but I never get to call her by name. I was told that since everyone in my friend’s family call her aunty, I might as well just follow suit. Somehow in a Chinese family, we were told to acknowledge someone who are elderly or who are just about older or same age as our parents as aunty or uncle.
This time, I was determined to get her name. She hesitated for a while, I guess because nobody has asked her for her name, she smiled and said, “You can call me Mei Sim.” Sensing something she has missed for a long time, she turned to the rest of us and explained, “Actually, it has been a long time since I use my name. My friends call me Mrs Tan. And everyone of you always call me aunty since you were little. It’s so strange even saying my own name, now that you ask.”
She stopped for a while and continued, “Now that I am seeking divorce from my husband, I should start to use my name again. Oh, talking about divorce at my age, such shock and shame, but I’ve got to do it.” She went on to tell us about her estranged marriage which she has kept from her children for over forty years. There seemed to be a burden that had just left her shoulders …
How many of you have lost your identity? Do you cling on to a General Manager title, and lost the carpenter in you? Do your friends only know you as the MD of the company, while the passionate singer has been kept in the closet? What will you do, what will you be when you wake up in the morning and realize that you no longer require a title to define you? Would you be free to be all that you want to be?
There are identities we cling on to life, not knowing that the external fabricated self (title) that is made up with all things material, will one day be gone. The external self can’t last. Ultimately, the internal Self, that is pure, authentic and real will rise up to meet you. Then, face to face, you will tell your Self, you are home. Now, you reclaim your true identity.
From now on, you are 100% free and proudly call out ‘your name’.