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What’s in a Name?

In Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, Romeo says the famous line “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other name¬†would smell as sweet.” But even though it is Shakespeare, whom I consider brilliant & inspiring, I must disagree. Because to me, our names, whether we’re fully aware of it or not, ultimately become our identity.

The Meaning of my Name

Last week, I tweeted about the meaning of my name. (Be sure to follow me on Twitter for more content between my Monday & Friday blog posts!) My full name means “joyful, unique, visionary, who is dedicated to the universe.” I don’t believe in coincidences anymore. I truly believe that everything happens for a reason. Upon my birth, my parents struggled with naming me, so I was temporarily referred to as Baby Girl V. My informal medical records listed Joyce Katherine at one point in time, but it wasn’t until about a year after my birth that my mom settled on Denise Joyce.

Becoming Denise Joyce

Denise Joyce is who I am, both literally & figuratively. And recently discovering the meaning of my full name makes perfect sense to me. Denise means “dedicated to God”, & while I do believe in God as a Catholic, I tweaked the meaning a bit in my definition above to be more inclusive to the beliefs of everyone in the world. My middle name Joyce means joyful, cheerful, or merry. And my last name, which I will not disclose for privacy purposes, means unique or visionary.

The three definitions of my name perfectly describe me. I do my best to always give off positive vibes to every person I meet: Joyce. I felt different from others growing up, but I’ve always been fine doing my own thing & creating the future that I want for myself: Unique, Visionary. And now, after my Dark Night of the Soul & Spiritual Awakening, I am dedicated to raising the vibration of the universe: Denise.

What’s in a Name?

Let’s go back to Romeo’s soliloquy about Juliet, as he stalked her from beneath her balcony. If Juliet had a different name, maybe Romeo would have been less deterred from pursuing her. But isn’t it human nature to want what you can’t have? If Juliet was any other easily available, beautiful girl, maybe he wouldn’t have gone after her. Maybe their tragic love story wouldn’t even play out. In terms of beauty, yes, Juliet’s beauty would have remained the same no matter what her surname was, but let’s not forget that Romeo was also “in love” with Juliet’s cousin, Rosaline, at the beginning of the play.

Anyone can have a beautiful face or a unique name, but it’s in our choices, the way that we become & own our names, & carry ourselves that creates our ultimate story. There’s a reason why parents take so much time choosing the perfect name for a child. Do you know what your name means? Do you think it accurately represents who you are as a person? Let me know your thoughts in a comment below.

XO Denise