08/30/2011 07:37 pm ET Updated Oct 30, 2011

Hello, My Name is Divorce

It's a new school year, which means seeing lots of new faces and faces that I might not have seen in a long time. One such face walked up to me and said the prerequisite "Hello," and before I could even say hello back, she went on to say, "I am divorced." Not the type of hello you look forward to first thing in the morning!

I don't know what it is that makes people seek me out to tell me about their own divorce. This woman had not seen me in years and did not know about my coaching practice or the dating site that I have launched. She did not know that I am immersed in the world of divorce. And, she isn't the first person to seek me out or to introduce themselves to me as, "Hello, my name is divorce."

Why do we identify ourselves by our marital status? I am divorced--twice--but that is not who I am. It helped mold me and shape me into what I am today, but it is not what defines me. What defines me is being a mother, a good friend, a good person. Being divorced is a state that I reside in, but I consider myself "re-singled", not divorced.

The difference is a state of mind that you have about yourself. Don't let divorce define you; let it redefine your life. Allow it to be a jumping-off point for bigger and better things. Re-singled is a word of empowerment, just like redefined. Re-singled is a time of rebirth, and when you are reborn you can define yourself as anything you want. Life is a blank slate and you get to write your own story.

In the grand scheme of life, divorce can be a large hole or a small blip on the screen. It is up to you as to how you choose to define that moment. This is a moment that is frozen in time, and you have time in that moment to make a decision on which direction your life is going to take and which road you are going to travel down. Will you define or redefine?

If you have children, this is an especially important decision. We want to empower our children to believe they can be anything they want to be. The way they learn is by example. If you give them the example that you are defined by divorce and that you are the victim, then that is what they will learn. Show your children that even though your life may take a turn that you never expected, you can rise above it and redefine yourself and survive.

When life takes a turn you have choice--do you define or redefine? You can wear the Scarlet D and wear it proudly, but when you introduce yourself, you want to say "Hello, my name is...," not "Hello, my name is divorce."