I already talked about depression multiple times, but today I wanted to start to talk about how I combatted it. You may notice that I am pretty comfortable with calling myself magnificent, so much that it has become my branding. I wanted to share where Magnificent Miles came from and how that changed my life.
It was early 2012 when I was starting to come out on the other side of depression. I’d been struggling with self-image and confidence for years but 2012 was a very difficult year. My finances were in shambles, grades bottoming out, mental state was volatile, friendships on the rocks, and I was starting to truly struggle with if coming back to school was the correct choice. I felt so down that I had a hard time building strength to go outside.
At the time, I was reading a book called, Delivered from Distraction and it brought up the power of positive thinking (of course in conjunction with other treatments). I remember this funny viral video of a little girls talking to herself in the mirror. She talked about loving her life, family, stuff, etc. It was hilarious but also true on how we have to motivate ourselves daily in a world designed to tear us down.
Also at the time, I was reading about Chicago for a project. I came across a reading about Michigan Avenue also known as the “Magnificent Mile.” What’s interesting is that Michigan Avenue actually can be followed from Chicago all the way back to Detroit, where I’m from. I laughed. Plus, I was just coming out of all these leadership programs where you had to go around the room giving an alliterative adjective to help people remember your name. I would always use musical but Magnificent didn’t seem too bad. It almost seemed perfect.
This was around the time I hung up writing music under the name “Kid Adonis”. I produced hip-hop under that name but it hit me that I wasn’t a kid anymore. People asked me about Adonis, but there was already a rapper from Atlanta making waves by the name Donnis, so I decided against that. I was left with a nice alliterative name that didn’t hide behind Greek Mythology.
People say fake it until you make it and that’s what I did. I adopted this name to the point where I introduced myself as Mr. Magnificent. It was arrogant but also fun. I won a crown during Sadie Hawkins one year and that become my thing in pictures. I would become a powerful and majestic person. A crown and magnificence became how I thought about myself.
I started thinking about words and associations they change how we feel. I thought about how negatively I felt about myself at one point. I kept thinking I was a failure and couldn’t succeed in life. The more I thought, the worse I did. I was so sure that a made a wrong choice, but God pushed me to keep going. Eventually, the more I called myself magnificent, the more I felt strong, powerful, majestic, and in my rightful place as His heir.
I eventually looked up magnificent to see what it meant and felt honored.
I don’t believe anything is a coincidence in life. Words and names have power. This name and idea came to me at a very dark point in my life but then my life started to turn around. I looked at that name as a charge and my charge was to be brilliant and inspiring. But, even my understanding of my name has matured like I have.
I started looking into my connection with God. How can I make myself more useful to Him and His plans for my life. Then, I thought about the Latin meaning of the name: “Making great, serving to magnify.” Around the same time, a lot of my friends started calling me Moses. It was slightly tongue in cheek but I at got really interesting reading about Moses’ relationship with God in the Old Testament.
Moses always had an amazing with God. It was like they were old friends or a father with his eldest son. I look at their relationship sometimes and get hopeful for what mine can become. Then, I went home for Christmas and spoke to my mother about the family. She eventually explains why she named me Miles. I was named after my grandfather, Rev. Levi Moses Miles. Who would have thought?
Now, I accept being called Moses by some and Miles by others. They both have a very significant meaning to me. What hit me recently was thinking about how Moses had to wear a veil over his face after spending time with God, because God’s reflected glory was too bright. The more I thought about Moses, the more I started to think about Magnificence as God’s light and me serving to magnify Him. The more I appreciated being Magnificent Miles.
For a long time, I wanted to connect to all these other images of strength, wisdom, blessings, and even God. But, as time has continued, I am comfortable being me. Miles, a reflection of God’s gifts and blessings to me and my family. I am proud of being Magnificent because that gives me more chances to spread the wisdom and beauty the Lord has given me. He changed the darkness in my life by changing how I thought about myself.
Self-affirmation was the original reason for changing my name but almost as a weird twist of faith, I learned more about myself and God’s purpose for me. I plan to share the goodness and many blessings in my life with whoever will read, watch, or listen. I even named my blog Everything’s Magnificent because we all have that goodness, excellence, and light within us all. Let your light shine through! Shine on!
How do you feel about your name? Does it have a special significance to you? Do you believe you would be different if you were named something else? What significance or stories do you have behind your name? Share in the comments below.