reinventing yourself

By: ewhite422

Jul 06 2010

Category: Uncategorized

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It can happen more than once in life.

Divorce, illness, moving to another city away from family and friends, loss of a job…these events and many more can challenge the way you perceive yourself.  I am trying not to use the term “self esteem;” it’s become so cliche.

Whatever you call it, you suddenly seem “out of your element.”  Sort of bewildered.

It happens to all kinds of people.  I just learned that a beautiful, smart, and talented woman who I knew in high school recently suffered a horrible divorce from a man who beat her for over 2 decades and turned her own children against her.  I remember her beautiful face and her resourcefulness when she was young and hopeful, and I am aghast that this has happened to her.

And now it is time for her to reinvent herself.  A mutual friend of ours asked me to get in touch with her.

What will I say?

Well, of course, talking is that last thing I should do.  I should listen first.

But there will come a time when she will expect me to have something to offer, and I can only say what I myself have done to face excrutiating experiences in my own life.

Here’s some of what I will offer, and I’d love to hear from you, too…

  •  Just because something bad has happened to you, it does not mean that you are a bad person or that God is out to punish you for something.  Bad things happen.  How we respond to them will determine what direction our lives take.
  • Everyone has difficulties to deal with.  Even God’s most precious gifts, babies, come with a lot of “poo.”  It happens.  Look for the gift.
  • You are “hardwired” in certain respects.  It is important to know what that hardwiring is, so that you do not try and fit yourself into an impossible situation.  (See:  You can discover your talents and gifts!
  • Reconnect with people who knew you when you were young…when you were most yourself.  Let them tell you what they saw.
  • Be around people who support your decisions.  Cull people out of your life who are “downers” or who criticize.
  • Make a list of your favorite things.  Make sure you have them in your life on a daily basis.  Who else is going to do this for you?  YOU have to do it.
  • Keep a journal of what you are thankful for.  It might be a flower you noticed on the way to divorce court, but at least it was something.  Cultivate thankfulness.
  • Find a good therapist and ask her for group therapy, in addition to individual sessions.  It’s good to hear other people’s stories and get their feedback on yours.
  • Be confident that “this, too, will pass away.”  Everything has its season.  Just know that you will get through it

Life is messy at times.  That is usually when something new is born.  Look for the new person you are becoming..

At some point you reach the end, and like T.S. Eliot describes, you will understand:

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.

It will be worth it.  At least, that is what I believe.


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