The divorce I had after my 20 years of marriage almost killed me physically and did kill me emotionally and psychologically. If you are in the middle of a divorce now or contemplating one, or maybe at the end of it, you understand this exactly. Here’s how to rediscover your identity after divorce!
Divorce is the death of your current identity. Of the married woman, the family unit. It is over. It is done. It is the end.
What happens in a marriage is that many women forget who they are. Many women consume themselves so much with their kids and their husband that they forget they even exist. They forget to put themselves on the list. They forget to put themselves in the equation. And then when a divorce happens they have NO IDEA who they are and they fall apart. That was my story exactly.
This also happens to many married women. You don’t need to go through a Divorce to realize that you have lost your own identity. You have lost who you are as a person and as a woman. There are plenty of women who are in great marriages, and there is no need for a divorce, but still deal with the emotional rollercoaster of having totally lost their identities to that of their family and their spouse and often women in these situations are lost and sad and dazed.
If this is any of you then you have come to the right place.
As at the end of the day, at the very core of our life, we have to know WHO WE ARE.
So I ask you – do you know who you are?
What you stand for?
What you believe in?
What do you want for yourself?
What are your passions?
What makes you want to live every day (other than your family of course)?
These tough and very important questions are the way to truly delve deep into learning who you are.
WHO AM I? Guide to finding your identity after divorce
My biggest experience that transformed me when I left my husband and realized that I had no idea who I was – I mean zippo (I would even go to the grocery store and look at all the aisles and I didn’t even know what I liked to eat! I knew what my husband liked, and what my kids liked, and I knew what dog food to buy for my chihuahuas, but I had NO idea what I liked!)
I used to burst into tears at the grocery store as I was so overwhelmed with my loss of identity and realizing I had no idea what I liked to eat! It consumed me with such distraught and sadness that I would run out of there in a state of panic and sadness. Awful.
So one night, shortly after my divorce, as I was crying and crying and crying on my king-sized all by myself, feeling very sorry for myself (normal at the beginning of a break-up or loss of any kind) I was watching through my tears “Dancing with the Stars” on TV.
And all of a sudden, a light bulb totally went off in my head.
I said to myself, “Hey, I love dancing! I forgot how much I love to dance”
All of a sudden I got a new gush of energy into my body. I ran to my desk (at 2am) and pulled out a piece of blank paper.
I then drew a big circle on this blank paper and in the inside of the Circle I wrote my name in big capital letters, “REVI”.
A Venn Diagram. With ME in the middle! Love this!
Remember those from school? A Venn Diagram is like a brain dump – when every single idea that comes to your mind about the subject that is inside the circle (that’s you) is written down.
And so, I just started.. and the lines that went all around the Venn diagram did not stop coming out! It was a TOTAL RELEASE!!!
- Salsa Dancing
- New York
- Salsa Dancing
- Habit for Humanity
- Playing Mahjongg
- Peaceful and Mindful
- My Sons
- Painting / Pottery
- Being Creative
- Health and Wellness of my Body
- Getting in Shape
This list helped me figure out WHO I AM and helped me to find my identity after divorce.
By zoning on this VENN DIAGRAM, I immediately learned so many things about myself. What was important to me, what I loved to do. It was the very first time in my whole life that I took time out for myself to learn and discover WHO IS REVI.
ACT ON THE VENN DIAGRAM
This next step was critical. I had to take out around 3 or 4 of these ideas that I had representing who I am and start ACTING out on it. I knew that by DOING WHO I AM I would start feeling alive again and start coming into who I am.
And so I did.
I chose Yoga and Barre and Dancing, and just started. I joined Fred Astaire Dance Group, signed up for monthly group dance classes and also took 10 private classes. I learned Tango, Bachata, Maringa, Salsa, Waltz, and so much more. It was so much fun! I felt so alive. I felt so free. I felt so ME!
The yoga and barre gave me my peace and serenity I needed. It helped me focus on my health, eating habits, and getting my body into shape. It felt so good to be strong.
I started to feel alive. I started to have things to look forward to. I started discovering myself. I started being ME.
I STARTED TO FALL IN LOVE WITH MYSELF AS I DISCOVERED WHO I AM.
It was the most magical time of my whole life. I get goosebumps when I look back at that time. It was great.
WHY ONLY NOW DID I TAKE THE TIME TO FIND MY IDENTITY
To me what is devasting to a person’s identity is when you give yours up for someone else’s. What do I mean?
For me, I never worked on myself, or nurtured myself, or learned about myself as I chose instead to do all that for my husband. But it can be anyone really – it can be your mom, your dad, your best friend, your child, your boss, it doesn’t really matter.
For those who lack their identity and don’t know who they are, you will see a common theme in your life. That you often live for others, care more for others, do more for others, are interested in others, more than you are for yourself. OUCH. That realization was very painful for me and it probably is for you too.
There is a term used loosely in our world today called Co-Dependent and I am not going too deep here on this article (but the next one will cover this) but many women and wives are Co-Dependent, which simply means we try to fix, save, solve, rescue or control someone else. And this is the very core of how we lose our identity. Because we are so focused on fixing, solving, saving, controlling or rescuing someone else – that by default we live in their identity and not ours. And hence we don’t know who we are.
This is not good and hopefully if you are reading this because you are trying to figure out WHO YOU ARE you will start to realize that the reason you don’t know who you are is because your whole life you have probably been living someone ELSE’s life.
And when you do that, you never get to live YOUR life.
The good news is today that changes. For good.
GO LIVE YOUR LIFE
Go live YOUR life. Go fall in love with YOURSELF.
Do that VENN DIAGRAM – draw a big circle with your name in the middle and write every single idea that comes to your mind when it comes to YOU.
And then, take 3 or 4 of those things that make you YOU and go DO IT. Go LIVE those things out and that’s how you start discovering who you are, and that is also how you start falling in love with yourself.
It’s the best feeling in the world. And soon you will easily be able to answer the all-consuming question – WHO ARE YOU?
And you’ll know exactly. Of that I am certain!
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