Sunday, January 25, 2009

Who are You? ... Now, Who Am I?

It is amazing how much our identity is connected to a relationship with another living "being" (not only how others identify us, but how we "see" ourselves). Then there are those life changes that take "beings" out of our lives or bring new ones in and we have to make the readjustment and figure "ourselves" out all over again. This takes a little doing and we need to give ourselves and others the time to settle into that new place.

The grieving process is full of a range of emotions and one of them is feeling lost. It's while we are in that place of "Who am I now?". It takes awhile to find ourselves in the context of a connection to the "spirit" of another, when the living "being" is gone. That comes and, in that sense, the old saying "It takes time..." is relevant.

The birth of a new baby (that is in some way related to you) once again requires you to settle into your new identity. It's love at first sight for sure, but if this is a "first" child, niece, nephew or grandchild then it's all new territory. You've been changed and all of the people related to this new baby have been changed too. You will all have to give each other time and space to fit all of your new identities together again smoothly. The jigsaw puzzle has gotten scattered a bit but it'll fit neatly back in place.

It's important to remember that this same phenomenon happens in one's relationships with beloved pets (the four-legged, two-legged or maybe even the no-legged varieties). I personally know that I am "animal-challenged". I have to remind myself that it may not be my experience but I have many times witnessed this to be true for others. And those relationships and identities are just as valid and important and need to be respected.

So if you find yourself in one of these life changing places, look in the mirror and introduce yourself to this new identity and try to make friends with yourself ... I think you'll like the new person very much! And remember to respect everyone else's identities as they shift while riding the currents of life.


Lauren said...

This is wonderful insight. I have a feeling that I'll enjoy getting to know my "new" mom.

Holly said...

I can't say I'll like the new Eileen better than any of the other facets I've grown to love...seems impossible to do. But, I am certainly right there next to you as you walk your path and glad that you're there as I stumble along on mine!

Kathie said...

Beautiful, Eileen! Learning who you are as "MiMi" should be fun.