The Only Name You Have

By Mary-Alice and Richard Jafolla

Excerpted from The Quest

“I am the way, and the truth, and the life.” —John 14:6

“My true nature is fear.”
“The very essence of me is sick and tired.”
“Poverty is God’s will for me.”
“Old age is my divine inheritance.”

Ouch! Makes you wince, doesn’t it? Who would say such things, especially in light of what we now know about the power of our words?

Yet it's shocking to learn that many of us broadcast the equivalent of such dreadful statements every day. How? By following the powerful words I am with something less than God's will for us:

“I am so afraid of failing.”
“I am sick and tired of your behavior.”
“I’m too poor to afford it.”
“I’m too old to travel anymore."

These are the kinds of pronouncements we hear all around us, maybe even say ourselves. But such statements are dangerous, even lethal. This is because they all contain those two little words I am.

These words I am are so powerful that they must be used with extreme care. Why? Because the words I am are your actual identity. They are your spiritual name, the identity of your spiritual self. Your I AM is the name of the God nature in you and of all the divine potential in you. It is who you are at your Christ essence. I AM is your true identity.

Feel the Power

If you want to feel the power of the words I am, substitute the words It is my essence to be ... , or It is my nature to be …, or ... is God's will for me. Thus a seemingly innocuous comment, “I am so worried,” translates into “It is my very nature to be worried.” A comment said in frustration, “I am absolutely devastated,” becomes “It is my essence to be devastated.” The statement “I am a diabetic” is really the assertion “Diabetes is God’s will for me.” 

Restated that way, those statements feel so uncomfortable to you because they more clearly point out that you are claiming something you don't really want. You are identifying yourself with something far, far removed from your essence.

Yet that’s exactly what happens when you use the words I am. You put a claim into the great Creative Intelligence of the universe to transform yourself into whatever it is with which you are identifying.

When negative feelings are put into “I am” statements, these seemingly harmless statements take on a life-altering seriousness. Can you really believe that it is your nature to be worried? Of course, you feel concerned and anxious at times; we all allow circumstances to bully us, but worry as part of your true nature? Never

There are times when events can make us feel devastated-the death of a loved one, a serious financial setback, a relationship gone sour. But saying “I feel devastated” is significantly different than claiming “I am devastated.” What you feel is transitory, what you are is forever.

What about identifying yourself with a sickness (for instance, “I am a diabetic”)? If God’s desire for us is absolute good, then how can God inflict diabetes on anyone? But if you insist on claiming it, making it part of your identity, then it's yours because you are holding on to it.

Choose Your Identity

At many conventions, name tags are put on a table in front of the main hall. You are expected to find the tag with your own name on it and pin it on your lapel. Of course, you choose your tag carefully because you don't want to be identified as someone else.

It's much the same with your use of your I AM. You are naming yourself. You are calling on the universe to identify you with what you are claiming and then to help you to produce that claim in your life.

Your I AM is your true identity. In fact, it is your only identity. Only you can say the words I am. Only you can direct the energy of these words to a universe waiting to do your bidding.

How successfully Jesus used the words I am! The Scriptures are scattered with His statements of identity, from “I am the bread of life” (John 6:35), “I am the light of the world” (John 8: 12), “I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25), to “I am the Alpha and the Omega” (Rev. 22:13). 

Years ago a television commercial for a stock brokerage company featured a crowded room filled with noisy people. The camera focused on two of the people who were speaking privately. One said to the other, “My broker is so-and-so, and they say ... ” Suddenly the room became quiet as everyone turned to listen intently to what so-and-so thought about the stock market. 

In a similar way, all of the creative energies of the universe stop and listen when we say “I am ... ” since it is their function to bring us whatever it is that we’re claiming for ourselves. They are always ready to spring into action whenever a claim is entered.


The Quest In every human heart there exists the hope of connecting with "something more." Tucked away deep within us, a part of us has always sought—yearned for—that connection.

The Quest opens the way for that connection. It presents eternal truths in a contemporary and very personal way. Whether you are just beginning your own individual quest or desire a deeper spiritual understanding, this guidebook and the accompanying activity book, Adventures on the Quest, will lead you with warmth and practicality through the pilgrimage of your soul.