I was going to call this "Lessons Learned", but that implies a past-tense perspective which would not simply not be true. In fact I'm still learning this stuff, but maybe I've reached a point where I can (somewhat) articulate some basic thoughts. Anyway, it's "middle-aged getting divorced life changing rumination" time.
I Can Change
I spent so many years doing the same basic things, time and time again, to the point where I had convinced myself that "crappy but predictable" was somehow an acceptable form of existence. Note: it is not. Change is not easy. Change sucks. Change is hard. Change begs to be put off. Change requires looking at things that you spend years not wanting to look at. Change is, though, a necessary and proper part of life.
Look In The Mirror
The problem isn't "there" or "with them"; the problem is "me" and "mine". I am not responsible for the actions, reactions or sensibilities of others. I am, in fact, only responsible for myself. Tying this to "change"...in wanting to improve my life I was looking at others to somehow "change" or "make a change" for me. This kind of thought is one of the ultimate cop-outs in life. In fact I am responsible for me and my condition. No one is coming to save me. The cavalry will not arrive. But I can work towards saving myself.
Faith, Want & Need
As I have noted before, I am not an overly religious person, but I can honestly say that I have grown to understand the concept of "Faith" much more over the past few months. What I have specifically learned is that when it comes to the concept of "Faith" you basically have to surrender yourself to the notion that you will not always (if ever) get what you want, but you will ultimately get what you need.
For years I had convinced myself that somehow tolerance, acceptance, forgiveness, and guilt where the only emotions that count...that thoughts of anger and disappointment were somehow lessor emotions that deserved to be forcibly relocated to the gulag of life. Note that I'm not talking about walking around in a constant state of "pissed off"; rather, I'm talking about (for example) allowing myself to feel anger when I have been wronged. In the past I would feel guilty about feeling angry...how toxic is that? I confess to still being uncomfortable with some emotions...including anger...but at least now I don't avoid them like some kind of pox upon my existence.
Journey & Destination
I claim no victories here, but rather I can only claim that somehow I've begun a journey that, while I don't know the ultimate destination, I do know that I will arrive to a better place. In a sense I already have arrived (because the journey IS the destination). Perfect? Hell no. But I see a path now, and while I may fall off it from time to time, I know where the path actually is now.
This isn't an end. I fact I do have my (many) moments of doubt; sometimes those moments are drudged up by the simplest of things. But you know what? I am not walking backward. At worst, my moments of doubt may make me stand still, but walking backward? Never.
One final thought: I've been blessed with remarkable advice, support and comfort throughout this process. Yes, in one respect I have to do the heavy lifting in this change, but that doesn't mean I have to go without a spotter or two.