Your Momma Didn't Name You "NO": Rejection is not your identity!

August 6, 2014

 

 

In the acting BIz (and in life) we often have to face rejection. Unfortunatly actors face the word "No" perhaps on a more consistant basis than some others and yet we must preservere and not be discouraged when we hear NO after NO becasue we must live for the YES!

 

This is something we all logically KNOW in our brains, but how do we honestly and authentically move forward by making this more known in our HEARTS : (may sound corny, but we all need to comfort ourselves with  corny every so often). In the same way a child gets great joy out of having a drawing displayed on the bulletin board at school, I think we can all take a little more time to realize that we are special people and our identity goes beyond the daily dose of "NO"s.

 

I recently read this article by Orange is The New Black star Uzo Aduba about her own journey through all the "No"s.

 

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/08/04/uzo-aduba-my-road-to-orange-is-the-new-black.html

 

She says she "heard the word “no” so often that it started to feel like a second name. "  To me what was so inspirational and empowering about her open letter was the way she discusses getting through the "No"s. She talks about all the hardships her mother faced on her journey and how this contributed to me a part of Uzo's own journey.

 

"{My mother's} entire road to that point—the struggles, the trials, the battles and the losses—somehow brought her to fulfillment upon the arrival of her new daughter, whom she named Uzoamaka. The road is good. 

 

My name, less the name itself, but rather what it represents, is precious to me. There have been many struggles, trials, battles, and losses through which my name has helped me persevere. In those moments, I have reminded myself that the road is good, and thereafter, I have emerged."

 

I think there is a beautiful message to be found in this for us all. I persoanlly have never taken this sort of pride in my own name--I like it well enough, think it's cool that it's a palindrome, but otherwise I always hoped my parents had named me something more interesting or unique (like Uzo!). But as Uzo says, it is what the name represents that I should be proud of.

 

The idea that your very name can be there to comfort you and empower you to remember that your identity is not "NO"--your destiny, your calling (literally) is not in the rejection but in your name and your story.

 

We are all people with history--our parents, our ancestors, our family and friends have all faced hardships on their journeys and it would be a disservice to them not to recognize that our own journeys are built from the intention and FIGHT of others. The fact is there is always a lot more to your existence than a stream of rejections (even if it feels that way sometimes in the moment).

 

 Uzo's letter inspires me to be proud of my "plain" name and my history. I think remembering our story, even the precious meaning of our own names is something we should all take time to do.You have a history, people supporting you, fighting for you (even beore you were born) and your mama sure didn't name you "NO".  Take that with you as ammunition to propel you beyond the "No"s! Meditate on what your name really means and let it fill you up with the intention you need to be more than a "NO".

 

You're bigger than your rejection.  You were made to proudly declare yourself so don't let the rejections take the place of your identity. Take a moment and relect: what does your beautiul name mean and how can you live out THAT journey versus living in the "No"s.

 

 

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August 6, 2014

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