When I was a young girl, someone gave me a book-marker that had my name on it with a definition…a “your name means” type of thing. I often wondered about the accuracy of that card. It was well before the Internet, so I just wondered, never researched it.
When I looked it up on an etymology site today, I was delighted to see how accurate it is.
My bookmark said, “Jill = changeable.” If I wasn’t aware of my weaknesses, it would be slightly concerning as one definition is “changing often or suddenly.” Hello, mood swings, I can own that. Beyond that lovely piece of reality, it also means:
early 13c., ” to make (something) other than what it was”
from late 13c. as “to become different”
from Old French changier “to exchange”
Celtic origin, *kemb- “to bend”
c. 1200, Old French “exchange, recompense, reciprocation”
“something substituted for something else” is from 1590s.
And my favorite:
Figurative phrase “change of heart” is from 1828.
Now, I actually have no skin in the game of believing that what you call something or someone actually defines that thing. I was telling a friend the other day, “call me what you like, I don’t self-identify by a title.” But I do like some of those definitions. As soon as I had children, I was smacked in the face with the reality that I did not like change. I would lament to my friends, “as soon as I understand one stage, the kid changes to another, and I don’t downshift that fast!” Who knows how many years it took me to realize, change was now my life! Ever hear the expression, “Don’t kid yourself?” That is what I was doing when I was constantly flummoxed by change. It just means, deal with reality, woman.
Some friends and I were talking about the lovely expression used now about being, “butt-hurt.” I don’t know where it came from, but believe it has to do with some people’s constant instances of “being offended.” (Can you have a constant instance? Whatever.)
I know, since you are on facebook that you are familiar with this! You know I’m a fan of change now, if you read my post on, “reframing.” It’s all about change. Taking a close look at something that doesn’t serve you well and, like the 1590’s definition points out, “substitute something for something else.” A common theme in today’s self-care arena, maybe stated as exchanging a bad habit for a good one. Nate Sparks, my young friend who blogs on WordPress is a huge advocate for people to change the way they think about current issues on equality, race, gender and sexual orientation. I love to see what he’s up to daily on my facebook feed.
I am from Welsh stock, so I also like the Celtic definition of “kemb:” to bend, or turn. It speaks to me of being flexible in thinking. Willing to admit that I and no one else thinks correctly all the time! When we have this reality firmly planted, it is very difficult to become offended. As a Bible reader, I also like Paul’s take. “It matters very little to me what you think of me, even less where I rank in popular opinion. I don’t even rank myself. Comparisons in these matters are pointless.” (From the Message). The part that gets me is, “I don’t even rank myself.” He means that he is not stuck by his OWN opinion of himself, good OR bad! That is just profound to me. Maybe you have scrolled and seen the C.S. Lewis quote, “Humility is not thinking less of yourself but thinking of yourself less.” Yes.
Found another great verse for this idea, which proves I can keep cussing because it says, “stupid!” (Well, my kids say stupid is a bad word!)
“Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.”
Proverbs 12:1 ESV
It just means it is wise to be open to taking correction. To not be so sure of yourself that you can’t change, or are constantly offended. Sounds like good advice to me.