One of the hardest aspects of divorce to come to terms with is the change in one's identity. Whether you are a man or woman, part of the transition from a married person to a divorced person involves the change in your "status." This can bring with it a myriad of feelings, one of which includes a sense of insecurity about who you are. For most, marital status becomes a huge part of self identity and how we define ourselves in the world. It is not merely a title or a box to check on credit card applications and other documents, it's the way in which we fit into society as a whole, our families and social circles.
Being part of a married couple weaves itself into the fabric of our existence, providing a context within which to view ourselves and how we fit into the world at large. As an individual, self-identity becomes synonymous with our marital status. Daily life routines and responsibilities are often carved out, divvied up and shared as part of a twosome. How, when, and why we engage in many of life's activities will often be based on or because of this prominent relationship.
Is it any wonder that the break up of a marriage can cause tremendous uncertainty about one's identity - who you are, how you fit in, what your role is, your purpose?
Add to this the fact that as human beings, we are not built for change. Our brains are wired to keep us safe by thinking and doing the same things over and over. So, adapting to a new way life, redefining who you are and reframing the way in which you live in this new reality is not something that happens overnight.
The changes that are thrust upon us during and post divorce are immense. Many of us have no idea what the implications will be as we begin this journey, subsequently feeling blindsided when the old "definition" of who we are no longer fits.
Take a deep breath. Remember that with each day, and the new experiences you have as a single person, deconstructing your previous life as a couple, is slowly creating and defining your new identity. This does not happen overnight but does evolve inevitably over time. Much like the compound effect, which states that with consistent effort each day, change becomes visible over time, so too will the "change" in you become visibly clear and reveal an entirely different you with each passing day, week. and month. Your new identity, who you are and what your purpose is will take shape and become the norm.
Weathering through the storm of discomfort of "who am I" is not easy, but do so remembering that even the caterpillar requires time to transform into the beautiful, soaring butterfly.
Love & Light,