I’ve been sitting with the idea that it is time to let go of my name, Sadhu. There are so many things to ponder about this. I have just started saying out loud that I joined a cult back in 1974. I was not in denial about this in the last 30 years, it just didn’t seem important. Part of this cult was to take a new name. Leave the old life behind.
My name Sadhu was given to me by my then “spiritual” teacher who it turns out was an abuser to the nth degree. And so many of my friends were hurt and traumatized by that man. I was lucky in the sense that I was not of interest to him and I didn’t live close. But I was a devoted follower and a good girl. And although I was never one to ask him what to do about everything in my life, I did follow him closely for about 14 or so years. In 1988 I cut my hair and stopped being what I call an Orthodox Sikh. I got a lot of shit for this from many of my Sikh “friends”. And I felt very supported by many of my true Sikh friends. I still consider myself a kind of Reform Sikh, although I am very open to all kinds of spiritual ideas. I still chant and pray in Gurumukhi. I still honor many tenets of Sikhism. I want to say that I am human. That I am.
The other piece for me is cultural appropriation. The name was given to me by a Sikh Indian man. But it is feeling a little false to me as a white woman to continue to use this name. I have loved this name but as I have been sitting in meditation with it, I feel it is time to let it go.
I have decided that after 30 years (this does kind of crack me up) I am going to take my beloved husband’s name, Farwell. After the year we have had with breast cancer and his brother passing, we have gotten closer than ever. He is one of the best things to happen to me. I feel so very blessed. I WAS very insistent that I have my own name. It was not my father’s (Roberts) or my husband’s (Farwell). I am at a stage in my life where that part just doesn’t matter. I am who I am.
I am happily back in therapy which has been tremendously healing. I am fully recovered from breast cancer. So much has happened this year with COVID and death and the world. I have had lots of time to sit with all of this and I feel so very blessed by my cancer. So many amazing things have come from it. AND I know I am privileged to be able to say that.
I have connected with so many beautiful humans over these last two years because of COVID. I am in several groups devoted to becoming Antiracist. I am addicted to this journey. I am in a prayer group of loving and wonderful women. Sisters to me now. I am not Christian but they welcomed me and love me as I love them. So many blessings.
Continuing to live in joy. Continuing to wallow in gratitude. Continuing to love myself with revolutionary (thank you Valarie Kaur) and radical love (thank you Sonya Renee Taylor) so that I can love ALL my neighbors. I love you all! L. Elizabeth Farwell. I am open to talking to anyone who may have questions. I am open to sharing more of my story because, needless to say, this is the short version.