Embracing your Identity

By Tasha M. Scott

Did you know that my legal name is not really Tasha?

Nope. 

Actually, my birth name is LaTarsha Yolanda McDonald.

When I was younger, I would cringe when they would call my name: LaTarsha.  I admit, I was embarrassed by my first and last name.  One because I didn’t want to be associated with Ronald McDonald - who was everywhere back in the day; and two, the R always brought questions.  I just started telling people that the R is silent. (psst...Don’t judge me…lol)

This only seemed to be an issue every year on the first day of school and at the awards assemblies when they call your name.  Every other time, people simply addressed me as Tasha 

Of course, when I got married, my last name changed to Scott. So then I became Tasha Scott. But after Googling myself, I saw that Tasha Scott is actually a pretty common name. I found out there’s an actress and a lawyer named Tasha Scott, amongst others.  My husband even has a niece named Tasha Scott.  So I decided to add the M and became:  Tasha M. Scott

That’s a lot of work that goes into a name…whew!!

Recently at a women’s retreat, I had a one-on-one conversation with someone about my name. I don’t know how my legal name came up but she said, “I LOVE your name. It’s unique."

Right then…I had a light-bulb-moment.

I spent the first part of my life feeling ashamed of my name/identity; the second part of my young life trying to be someone else…only to discover that I’ve been this unique individual the whole time.

I’ve always been her, I just didn’t own it yet. (See my earlier blog, “Will I ever be her?”)

The question that screams louder though is Why did I spend so much time trying to hide me? My name is everything. My name defines me.

When I looked up the meaning of LaTarsha, I discovered that the root of the word means: Gift.

This is what I found in my online research:

What Does Name "Latarsha" Mean

You always bring to completion anything you start. You are generous but like to see returns from your giving. You have an executive ability, you are a leader. You are moral, balanced, honest and intellectual, and you may attain spirituality. You are wise and practical with an appreciation of beauty. You always think before you act.You are bold, independent, inquisitive and interested in research. You know what you want and why you want it.

Position and social status is very important for you and you are always looking for way to improve your position in society. You have power and ability to chose your own destiny and achieve anything you want in life. You can expand in any direction according to your will and the set of values. You have passion for justice and belong to the position of authority. You have an inherent courage and endurance to accomplish “The Impossible Dream”. With the power comes responsibility. You hold keys to the material world, but with this gift comes high spiritual responsibility to be fair and true to others. You are philosophical and mature, determined and intense with a desire to endure, often religious.
— http://www.sevenreflections.com/name/latarsha/

I had to let that sink in.

I am a gift.

Not just any gift…God’s gift to the world.

I AM the manifestation of God’s purpose.

But I’ve spent years being ashamed and/or trying to hide my identity.  I tried to hide me:  the gift.

It wasn’t until I was at the retreat, standing there talking to a stranger, that it donned on me. I need to stop hiding parts of me and fully embrace my God-given identity so I can fulfill my true purpose.

(Don’t you just love A-ha moments on the journey).

I was born to stand out and so were you!!!

Have you been guilty of trying to downplay something about you because you didn’t want to be seen for who you are?

I love Marianne Williamson’s poem, “Our Deepest Fear.” She hit the nail on the head when she says, “Our playing small doesn’t serve the world."

She’s absolutely right. 

The truth is:  Our identity is connected to our purpose.  

Owning our God-given identity paves the way for us to embrace our God-given purpose and potential.  

Here’s more food for thought.  The next time you have a temptation to apologize for your unique identity, get to the root of the issue and ask yourself, “Why am I hiding?"

A greater question that looms is, "What could I accomplish if I stopped hiding myself? Who could I become with no limitations?"

My friend, let’s make a deal: From this day forward, we’ll stop hiding. We’ll stop apologizing. We’ll embrace our God-given identities so that we can fulfill our God-given purpose and potential in life! 

Are you in? 

REFLECTION: Share with me, one way that you’ll stop hiding and start embracing so that you can Maximize Your Existence in 2016.

My friend...You are Necessary, being you!!