16. The Power of Names or No More Nigel.

I named the dis-ease 'Nigel' about six months ago ... because that disempowered it for me. The full diagnosis name with its prognosis was scary, not to mention long and complicated to explain.

To me, 'Nigel' recalled a couple of perfectly pleasant guys from my past who hit on me and, when I turned them down, pottered off politely and I never heard of them again. They weren't threatening and they didn't hang around long.

So calling it Nigel was a very good idea.


But now, as I move on through this journey, I think it's time to let Nigel go as well. That's because any name has power and a name with a capital letter can be very powerful indeed. I don't even want a Nigel around any longer so I'm saying goodbye to that name too now. Saying goodbye with thanks because it was very, very helpful when I needed it.

As an example of how names have power I used to tell a story in a workshop. I'd say:

'I saw a brown creature at the bottom of the garden.'

A very small amount of vague interest would flicker in some eyes but that was it. Then I'd add:

'It was a deer.'

More interest was shown then as people could immediately identify what I was talking about. Then I'd say:

'A fallow deer - a lovely golden brown colour with white spots.'

That filled in the picture more, especially for those who've seen Bambi. Then I said:

'Bella the fallow deer comes into the garden most mornings now.'

People began to coo. Well, the girls did.

Then I said:

'Bella the fallow deer was hit by a car and died.'

'Noooo!' came the cry and people were genuinely upset - even though this was just a story I'd made up. The naming of the deer had made it a personal thing; a real thing. And the fact that the name of the type of deer had evoked Bambi brought up the whole horror of the shooting of Bambi's mother.

We name things all the time - with capital letters. There's a disease called aids. I don't capitalise that because I don't want it to get bigger. There was the 'credit crunch' in the UK - part of the recession (which is another name). The credit crunch was capitalised in all the newspapers and it became 'real.'

Of course, some people say things should be named in order to 'out' them. And they'll come up with the old 'for evil to succeed it just needs good people to do nothing' statement.

I don't think believing in the good, focusing on the good, praying for healing, sending healing, blessing the situation or cutting off constant focus on what is bad is doing nothing. I think it's very important that we look for solutions rather than focusing on the problem. Pushing against the problem just makes it bigger.

So perhaps a new name for what I've been experiencing would be my Wellness or my Healing. Or maybe it just doesn't need a name at all.


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