Nomen est Omen? …! or: Where there is no shadow, there can be no light

You are as you’re named – Nomen est Omen. Is that true? At the moment I have many experiences that seem to confirm this. There are countries in this world, where children are named after what their parents most wish for them to be or experience in life. Others would only call the ‚the first‘, ‚the second‘ and so on. I would be deeply interested in actual studies on that subject, to be honest. Well, maybe I will make my PhD some day, after all, having found a subject now. I’d really like to know if their are similar patterns in life that connect people with the same names….

Since my URL is my actual name, most of you know that my first name is Melanie. I have a rather dark tan, since I am of Italian origin. Dark hair, olive (is that the right term?) skin, brown eyes. So I seem to fit my name perfectly, because it means ’she, who is dark‘ or ’she, who is black‘ since ‚Melanie‘ derives from the Ancient Greek word for ink (melanos). When I was born, there were several girls called Melanie. My mother named me after a famous figure skater. I guess there were others who had the same idea. When I meet other Melanies, it often feels kind of ‚wrong‘ (no offence, ladies!), if they are blond. Which is often the case.

But there are other levels on which ‚darkness‘ can play a roll. Darkness, being dark, is usually understood as something bad. We are afraid of the dark, we don’t want the dark feelings, a.k.a. fury, anger, hate, rage and whatnot. It is a fact that light coloured fur on a dog for most people mean that the dog must be nice, whereas dark dogs are mostly considered not-so-nice. The same goes with people. And just about every other animal. It is a dark cat, of course, that is unlucky, not a white one. Light is good, dark is bad.

Even in spiritual communities, where it is taught that this world is a world between two poles and that each quality is important, this idea of good/love/light vs. bad/hate/darkness prevails. I am always at a loss to understand how people can listen to spiritual and religious leaders, their coaches and therapists and all leaders in the field of personal growth – who all stand united saying that the ‚dark‘ and the ‚light‘ aspects of a person must be integrated to make that person whole, only to go out into the world and judge everything dark and try to force light into life.

I think this is very Nomen est Omen. At least with me. Maybe I am designated to be friendly with my and the world’s ‚dark‘ aspects by the fact that I was named Melanie. Again and again I encounter people who force feed themselves everything light. Only good thoughts. Only good feelings. Only good deeds. Only good people around them. Nothing heavy, everything light. Me, I am diferent there.

You know that whatever you say about your dog, you say about yourself? Well lately I have listened to myself telling people that my dog is bored with dogs who are too nice. It is true. I had a cute dog girl here for a few days as her family were on holidays. She is a little crazy and she keeps nagging on Sammy to play with her. She just won’t take silence or even a ’no‘ for an answer. She determined to make him play. It takes about three tries and he will play with her -leaving him happily exhausted and keeping him young. The same goes for his best girl-friend, a crazy poodle why I usually call ‚crazy noodle‘. It’s the same principle. She is demanding and not always accepting his limit(ation)s. Which is good for him, phyiscally and emotionally. There are many other dogs, too. Dogs who would politely ask him to play a little, but will give up immediatly if he doesn’t react or if he growls a little or gives a bark. So there is no play. So I keep explaining my dog’s behaviour: he doesn’t really know that these nice, polite dogs are even there. They don’t leave an impression, they are not interesting.  Since what I say about Sammy is ture about myself, there you go: I am bored by people who don’t allow their dark or darker aspects to show – which I take to mean as: people who are well adadpted to society’s conventions. I am bored, I don’t find much to say because I am not interested in small-talk, I prefer deep-talk. I will not say that I am against conventions. There is much good about them, don’t get me wrong, but all in moderation. The ‚good‘ and the ‚bad‘, the ‚dark‘ and the ‚light‘. Well balanced, a good mix of all.

Our society has pretty much ruled out everything ‚bad‘, so if you do have a good mix of all the colours in your life, you are very much in danger of becoming unaccepable. That is the most unhealthy thing we could possibly be doing. As every expert in the fields of psychology, philosphy and religion will tell. One of my main competences might well be to let people feel that they are accepted even when they are not perfectly adapted. Not that everyone would understand it or be able to even accept that. No way. Many will actually battle agains that, expecting traps or punishment to a point where they actually give it to themselves. The decree of abandoning everything ‚bad‘ and ‚dark‘ is deeply rooted. But whenever I have people in my life who take it for what it is (a gift) and / or are themselves able to give that gift themselves, I witness actual growths spurts. That is when personal development goes high speed. Since I am currently expriencing exactly that with wonderful people, where honesty is valued deeply and the wish to help each other grow out of old experiences into new lives is a top priority, I am of course thinking a lot about why people can or cannot do that.

I don’t know if it is my name, if I was pre-positioned by it, designated, but I am grateful for whatever the reason might be. It is a gift to be able to understand, accept, embrace and even love the ‚dark‘. Because where there is no shadow there cannot be light. And I only trust people who let their dark sides show as much as their highligts. And I do hope that we will become more and more. Because as the return of the wolf means that nature is growing more healthy, the return of the un-perfect, dark and light, colourful people will mean that our society is on the mend. And the whole planet will benefit from that.

8 Gedanken zu “Nomen est Omen? …! or: Where there is no shadow, there can be no light

  1. ein sehr schöner text ❤ ich mochte meinen namen lange nicht, weil er mir einfach nicht gefallen hat und irendwie zu wenig ausgefallen war. mittlerweile finde ich den klang des namens okay, trotzdem bin ich ein bisschen enttäuscht, dass meine eltern den namen NUR deswegen ausgesucht haben und sich über die weitere bedeutung keine gedanken gemacht haben. als atheistin ist ein name mit "christ" halt irgendwie nicht so der identifikationshit.

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    1. Mmmmmh, ja, das hab ich oft gedacht. Es gibt ja so einige Namen, die den Christ inkorporiert haben und ich habe mich schon öfter mal gefragt, wie diejenigen sich damit fühlen, wenn ihnen dieser Hintergrund nicht schmeckt. Es gab ja auch eine Christian-Welle, damals…
      Ich hatte nie Probleme mit meinem Namen, aber ich hab ihn jetzt auch nicht weißt Gott wie geliebt. Aber mir gefiel die Bedeutung immer. Und jetzt dann eben diese neue Ebene. Wer weiß, vielleicht findest Du ja auch noch eine neue, bisher unbekannte Ebene 😉

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      1. ich hab nach deinem text extra nochmal gegoogelt und es scheint für meinen namen einfach wirklich keine andere bedeutung zu geben. aktuell wüsste ich nicht, wo da eine andere ebene wäre, aber es erinnert mich jedenfalls wieder daran, warum ich eigentlich eine andere abkürzung forcieren will ^.^

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      2. Nee, ich meinte eine andere Bedeutungseben für Dich – also eher eine Analogie. Wie zum Beispiel: man kann ja auch Ostern – Auferstehung anders betrachten, so in die Richtung: was darf ich loslassen (was darf sterben) und wie kann ich im übertragenen Sinne auferstehen. So meinte ich das 😉

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