What's in a Name?
Dario, Augustus, Rio, man of God, silly, creepy, a**hole, selfish, lazy, crazy, skittles, good man, internet stalker, bigot, religious, big D, D, king, handsome, boy, extra, nephew, sweetheart, thirsty, childish, hun, P.E. boy, petty, big man, weird, kind, etc. I have been called so many names over the years in my life. Some of those names I cherish; others, I loathe.
Like me, you have been called many names in your past and present. Think about them. Some of them define you by moments, some of them define you by family, some are nicknames, some are labels associated to your weight, faith, skin tone, or occupation, and some are just random. My question to you is: Which names have taken root into your being?
Meanings behind words are crucial to understanding who you are as a person. How often do we pay attention to the words used to label us? For instance, silly can either reference playful or foolish, depending on the person labelling me as such. There’s so much that goes into a name. Why accept being called less than who you are?
It’s amazing what we have permitted others to label us with. Have you allowed someone to label you with a curse word? I’ve heard many people to refer to their friends and family as f***ers, b****es, or little sh**s or sh**heads, and were never reprimanded for such carelessness. Have you researched what those words mean? None of them speak positively over your life, so why would you give anyone permission to label you as such?
The main word I was raised to despise is n***er. The “n-word” is racially triggering and a word filled with much hate and violence. Hollywood doesn’t go three years without reminding me of how cruel our ancestors were treated. They give actors full license to say n* all throughout a script for realism. On one hand, I understand. On the other hand, why are Caucasian, Hispanic, Latin, or Asian peoples still trying to find ways and reasons to say this word?
It is because Blacks have tried to redefine the term into something more passive. Suddenly, n***a, or n***er with a southern accent, doesn’t hurt so much. Instead of it being a derogatory term, it is now supposed to mean “homeboy”, “partner”, or “friend”. The problem with allowing the wrong words to define who you are is that it gives room for those who still use differing definitions to attack you further.
The same can be said about the term “slut”. Slut is and forever will be, in my opinion, a derogatory term. Yet, people are going around calling themselves slut in order to redefine its meaning. They want the word to empower people to be free in their sexuality. It’s an admirable attempt, but still creates an avenue for hateful people to derogatorily use slut against them.
N* and slut were never meant to be words that survived their creations. They were supposed to die along with the avenues they were used through, such as racism, sexism, and piety. Yet, here we are, still labeling each other by these negative terms.
Some other absurdities used to define us are zodiac signs. According to them, I, a Pisces, am supposed to behave, think, and feel a certain way specifically due to a time of the month I was born. The position of the moon and position of the sun are supposed to influence how I act at different times in the year. I had no issue with this until I began to witness people use these signs as justification for their toxic behavior and lack of growth.
There’s almost nothing is as foolish as someone saying, “It’s just the Leo in me.” It’s not something as simple as eating too much sweets. It’s what’s being said after irrationally being melodramatic and retaliatory in action. People treat others horribly and hide behind their zodiac sign as if it’s valid. It’s one thing to call yourself a Pisces but totally different to justify toxic characteristics and actions because “you’re a Pisces”.
It’s beyond time we looked into the definitions of these words that we so frivolously call ourselves. For me, I do not refer to myself as a n*, nor am I a slut or Pisces. I am first a creation of God. Second, I am a human. Third, I am a Christian, or someone attempting to be Christ-like as defined and exemplified in the Bible. The list goes on and on from being an American to a Texan to a Houstonian to a writer. Each of these words has to be examined.
What does it mean to be a creation? What does it mean to be a creation of God? What does it mean to be a human? What does it mean to be a Christian? What does it mean to be a man? What does it mean to be Black? What does it mean to be a writer? Am I okay with these definitions? Do I know the history behind these definitions? Am I okay with the history of these words? For me, I am satisfied with the words mentioned in this paragraph. How do you feel about the history of your names? Some people still hold the names of slave masters. It is important to know.
Before anyone else has the opportunity to define you, you should already have a page’s worth of words to define yourself. Although the words should be positive, I know that for many of you, they’re not. How many of you look in the mirror and call yourself unattractive? How many of you look in the mirror and call yourself stupid? How may look and say, “Not good enough.”?
Has someone engrained these words in you? Were you called worthless, a whore, a Jezebel, stupid, dumb, slut, bad, wicked, faggot, retard, or worse? I watch us jokingly, and sometimes seriously, call each other’s sexes “trash” or “ain’t s*” these days. The worse part about it is that the jokes have become perceived truths. Women truly believe men are trash, and men believe women ain’t s*. All the while, neither are true. Just because it’s commonplace to say these things, doesn’t mean they’re true.
Let today be the day you refuse to be called, or rather refuse to accept, the names that break your heart. You cannot control what comes out of people’s mouths, but you do control how you respond. For instance, take the words at the beginning of this blog. For one reason or another, I’ve been called most of these names multiple times. I can either accept these names as truth, or I can reject them and reject the persons who called me such.
I can tell you right now, the people who have called me silly (foolish), creepy, a**hole, selfish, lazy, crazy (insane), internet stalker, bigot, religious, boy, thirsty, childish, P.E. boy, petty, weird (creepy), etc. do not know me nor are they close enough to know me. I can admit I’ve been selfish, lazy, weird, and petty, but these are moments, not defining characteristics. The rest are from ignorant people determined to be my enemies.
If you are not what they call you to be, reject their words. Be bold about rejecting their words. I’ve been called ugly before. For me, their eyes need to be checked because I am an overwhelmingly handsome creation of God dipped in the ocean of sexy and dried in the air of fine. I’ve been called bigot, which is also a dumb label because I am far from intolerant. People just don’t like my opinions, and that’s fine. However, they are not allowed to define me.
I know now that the Lord has known me better than I have known myself, and only the Lord knows me better than myself. Therefore, when it comes to defining myself, I use the scripture. I do not try to use scripture out of context, nor do I try to claim more than I ought to. I simply, or rather complexly, take God at His word.
Here are some examples of how the Lord defines me: a wise man, a child of God, royalty, blessed, a saint, just, love, sanctified, good, righteous, and a masterpiece. These are the words and names I accept and take to heart. I refuse to let derogatory terms have permanence in my life. I refuse to allow those, who would use those terms against me, a permanent place in my life. Let today be the day you do so as well. You should read the Bible and see what He says about you.
You cannot love others if you do not first love yourself. Perhaps, you should use better words to define you. Look in the mirror, or take a moment for yourself right now, and say, “I am beautiful, I am smart, I am strong, I am fabulous, I am great, and I am good.” Go back and repeat that statement ten times. Allow those words to sink in. Let them become your truth. Never let the antonyms of these names ever be spoken against you again.
I know for a fact that many of you are looking to be loved or are trying to remain in love. Love starts with God. If you haven’t used the Word of God to define you, you will be more miserable than you need to be. The worst thing God calls you is redeemed. He doesn’t even call you a sinner. Take Him at His word. You may have felt worthless before now, but you are valuable in the eyes of God and I, so go forward with that knowledge.
If someone tries to call you names or stick labels on you, reject them. You don’t have to reject them in a manner that these people can see. You can do it internally. Smile, and move on. Don’t get caught up in the stupidity of people. As stated in the book of James of the Bible, in chapter 3, the tongue (or mouth) is an unruly evil forever untamed by humans. If someone cannot withhold their curses, reject them by speaking blessings over yourself. If all they speak is hate, speak love over yourself. As the saying goes, if you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all. This includes you saying evil things to yourself. If you’re about to say you’re ugly again, stop! That is not the truth and it is beyond time you recognized that!
Please know that you are amazing, fantastic, great, influential, a treasure, welcomed, and worthy. Some of you have even gone so far as to be kind, caring, understanding, wise, knowledgeable, trustworthy, gorgeous, fine, strong, powerful, selfless, forgiving, compassionate, empathetic, authoritative, commanding, and so much more. You are more than a job title, a pastoral title, a family name, a first name, last name, middle name, or any proper name. You are needed. Please get to know your positives and negatives, and obtain names that you can be proud of. I trust you will do better about what names you allow to define you going forward.
If no one has told you lately, I’ll end with this. You are loved. Look at yourself, either through a mirror or a camera, and know, the writer of this piece loves you. Dario Augustus loves you. I couldn’t do this life without you. Please keep on living so that I can keep on loving you. Please take good care of yourself so I can always have you around to be thankful for. Please uplift yourself so I can continue enjoying your shine. Thank you.
I love you,
 Matthew 7:24-25; Proverbs 14:26
 John 1:6-13; Galatians 3:26-29
 Galatians 4:1-7
 Revelation 22:14
 Ephesians 2:19-22
 Ezekiel 18:3-9
 1st Corinthians 13:4-8
 Hebrews 10:10
 Genesis 1:27-31
 2 Corinthians 5:20-21
 Ephesians 2:10
 Colossians 1:11-14