Recently Thomas and I got married. Even after 15 years of being together, the moment when we consciously said YES to each other was very special and profoundly moving in our hearts. It’s a moment you cannot fully prepare for, and that’s what makes it so beautiful.

After the proposal, we went through some processes together. We agreed right away that we would bring everything we felt and thought into our communication. And it was more than I had expected. A change was on the horizon, one that didn’t seem like much on the outside. There were expectations, and occasionally, there were disappointments because we quickly realized that we wanted to get married just for us – just the two of us. The celebrations would come later, in a relaxed manner. Once we were clear about how we wanted things to be, it was easier to communicate our wishes.

A few days after the proposal, I started thinking about the name. Fortunately, there are many options in our cultural context, so everything could have remained the same. Administratively also the easiest choice. When we talked about having a joint name, I noticed that Thomas seemed somewhat disappointed when I initially said, “There’s no way I’m changing my name!!!” (three exclamation marks). I realized that I had a rather “charged” position here. And I now know that “charged energies” regarding a topic have much less to do with the topic itself than with something deeper lying behind it. Thomas wanted to reflect on what had disappointed him because the same applied to him. What did it really mean to us? It was about identities and belonging. Who was I with my name Brdar, and who would I be with another name, whether a double name or not, many options were possible. My ego-mind had found many excuses for why none of this would work. After all, I had published a book (yes, indeed!), and I could “only” be found under Marijana Brdar. And, the whole process produced a lot of mental stress. Mental stress is constructed stress, I was aware of that, too.

Well, with some distance, I realized that the excuses didn’t really matter, and I was much more concerned with the issue of belonging, identity, and my autonomy. The more I looked into the topic, the less charged I became, the energies cleared. In the meantime, Thomas came back with his insight that he cared about us getting married, not whether I took his name. It was a truly fascinating process. When we registered our marriage at the civil registry office and were still juggling and changing the few free dates (we absolutely didn’t want to get married before 10 a.m.), the still surprising question for me came up again: Have you made a decision about your names? I immediately replied: No. And I haven’t decided yet! Again, at least one exclamation mark! Intuitively, there was a silent voice that had already lovingly agreed a while ago. The voice of independence and power spoke louder at that moment.

In the meantime, we enjoyed all the alternatives, including Thomas Brdar. That was also possible, everything is possible. But that didn’t feel right for us. In this whole field of possibilities, there was increasingly a sense of lightness and playfulness. There were three levels to my decision.

The first is to make our connection visible.

The second has something metaphorical in relation to our names. Brdo means “the mountain” in Croatian. From Brdar to Sommerfeld (summer field), I left the mountain behind and stood on a summer field full of flowers. Sommerfeld is light, spacious, and varied. The mountain stands powerfully behind me, giving me strength; it remains a part of my belonging, something that cannot be changed or moved. Both images together are beautiful for me. Especially since in many meditations and my hypnosis experiences, I often find myself standing on a vast field with the sun shining. A summer field. Sommerfeld is indeed a very resonant name, which visually supported my decision.

The third level is of a spiritual nature: I am changing my address, the address I present to the outside world or a part of it. A new experience is possible, a different external identity. How much changes on the inside? Nothing. The core of my being remains the same. The mountain stays. And now I am standing on the summer field, rejoicing in love, life, and all its experiences.

Who am I? I am.
Everything else is just stories.

Marijana in Cologne, September 17th, 2023.

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