Lunar Dance - I think I'm getting the hang of this now and wanted to give you my thoughts on how we define ourselves.
There is an exercise that I recall from a human resources training class years ago that consisted of taking a drawing of a window with 9 panes and writing in each pane something about ourselves that we thought was important and represented who we were.
Way back then, it included my family and the things we did together (camping, etc.). It also was a lot about training and upward mobility and the things I wanted to accomplish or "goals." I am happily divorced now for over twenty years; I'm retired; my children are grown and I have a fantasmagorical almost 4 year old granddaughter. My panes have changed over time and even moreso in the last five years. I still have the family stuff - my grown children, my extended family, and my granddaughter (who gets a pane of her own, of course). Another important part of my life and part of how I define myself is my friends. The close ones are as important to me as my family. I have global topics/panes, such as global warming and what are we going to do about it; politics, as in: the world is changing and the way we govern, do business, etc. must change; and writing, which I continue to do in spite of any major success. This ties in with my overall belief that I no longer have "goals," i.e. I write because I want to, not because I must publish. And right smack dab in the middle of the window is a pane that says "PD." I cannot ignore the impact it has on my life any longer; it does limit me in some ways. However, it is still and will always be...just a part of me. All the other panes around it reflect what is important and who I am in the Center of my Soul.