Loss of self

How do you define yourself, and what does that mean to you? If you identify as a man, or male, what makes up that definition? What are the criteria required for you to be a man (this is NOT a post specifically about Trans identity)? What part of you does your job or career play in defining you? How about being a parent? Is being a parent a part of how you define yourself? Does your education define you? If you’re married or partnered, does that play a role in how you see and define yourself?

These are very important questions.

I predict that if you’re honest, you’ll find that to some degree great or small these things (and others) help form how you see yourself and your value as a person.

What happens when one or more of those things is lost or disrupted? Think about what you’ve heard...the 30-year employee retires and has nothing left to define meaning in his life; the mom who is now an empty nester... What do they feel? How do they cope?

You may have noticed that I have on my clinical, analytic brain today. I left that whimpering mess of an emotional brain locked up today.

I am a man, I am a nurse, I am educated and have desires to further that education, I am (was?) a step-father, I am a husband. There are other things that define me, or parts of me, spirituality, for instance, I am a homeowner, I make a good income, and the list could be endless.

So many things affect our perception of who we are and our value because we haven’t been taught that these things are roles we play during our lifetime. As life changes, our roles change.

The challenge is re-learning, re-defining that sense of self. Separating the roles from the essence of who we are. it’s hard. I know. That’s part of what I’m going through right now. Life’s changes are not easy and they don’t feel good or fair.

Teach the young people within your sphere of influence that their job does not define the, their partner does not define them. They are infinitely more than all of those things together and their worth is immeasurable.

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