who we are, what we’re not

I am a woman. I am a mother. I am a single mother. I am a psychologist. I am a full time working single mother with a part-time private practice. I am a friend to women and men.

I own a home, lease a car, cook healthy meals, kill it in the gym 5 days a week, practice yoga. None of these things define me.

I have a mother who is withering away from Parkinson’s disease; it’s really tough some days to watch. My father is loving and generous and super emotionally needy and I am simultaneously grateful for and frustrated by him. I have an older brother and we have no relationship; we never really did but now we barely speak at all and I’m pretty sure he hates me. None of these things define me.

At the end of my marriage I began a relationship with another man. For a very long time I allowed this to define me. I never imagined a time it would not feel all consuming of the definition of me. Having had an affair does not define me.

I am dating someone most people wouldn’t approve of. Someone many have overlooked, walked past, rejected, misjudged. We are happy, our children are happy, and life is full of love. This relationship does not define me.

My children are strong, healthy, hilariously funny people with quick wit and smart mouths and open hearts. They give love freely and fearlessly. My daughter struggles w anxiety, upset stomachs and headaches. My son does not talk about his feelings openly and uses his charm to distract others, and it works. Their qualities and choices do not define me.

I am more confident now than I’ve ever been, yet some days I am terribly insecure; in my mothering, my skills as a doctor, a partner, daughter, and friend, and in my ability to balance it all. Most days I stay present and look ahead toward my intention. Other days I can’t seem to shake my gaze off the past. Many days I look to my ex husband for approval, and allow him to tell me who I am and what I’m worth. Some days I feel strong and capable, brave. Others I feel frozen, stuck, unsure where to go or if I am even capable of getting there. None of this defines me.

I started smoking cigarettes at 39 yrs old. It’s been a little over one year. I feel embarrassed and disappointed and I am struggling to quit. My smoking, my shame, does not define me.

I am loving and caring and generous with my heart. I give freely and honestly. Sometimes I give hoping for something in return. Sometimes I give without that. Neither of those things makes me better or worse.

None of this defines me.

I carry within me a light. It shines constantly. It can get muted by experiences that are painful, blocked by walls I’ve built. My road is to Feel it, nurture it, and allow it to be…without judgement. Without definition or boundaries.

I have lived my life believing I am defined by my feelings, my thoughts, and my choices. None of those things define me. My emotions change. My thoughts and ideas change as I live and experience life. Behaviors I may engage in at one time are ones I may have previously judged as something I would never do, and there is a good chance in the future, i will engage in actions that I now currently wouldn’t believe I would take part in. I am fluid, ever changing. How I think or feel in one moment explains only me in that moment, not me in totality. I am light and energy. I am love. I am constantly changing. My definition, is to not have one.