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Looking back from the perspective of 5 years

This was a milestone year. 5 years. how it happened I don't know I think the below makes so much sense where I am right now

I did not write this but I think that after five years these are indeed the things I have learned. I wish I knew who wrote it because I would give them credit, but whoever wrote it really gets it.

A time finally comes when you "get it" ... when, in the midst of all your tears and insanity you stop in your tracks and somewhere the voice inside your head cries out "ENOUGH!! Enough fighting, crying, guilt and struggling just to hold on.

Then, like a child quieting down after a tantrum, you blink back your tears and begin to look at the world through new eyes.

You realize it's time to stop hoping and waiting for something to change, or for happiness, safety and security to magically appear over the next horizon.

You realize that in the real world there aren't always fairy tale endings and that any guarantees of "happily ever after" must begin with you ... and in the process a sense of serenity is born of acceptance.

You awaken to the fact that your lost spouse wasn't perfect, nor are you; and that not everyone will always love, appreciate or approve of who and what you are ... and that's OK. They are entitled to their own views and opinions.

You learn the importance of loving and championing yourself and in the process a sense of newfound confidence is born of self-approval.

You stop complaining and blaming other people for the things they did or said to you (or didn't do or say) and you learn that the only thing you can really count on is the unexpected.

You learn that people don't always say what they mean or mean what they say and that everyone will not always be there for you and that everything isn't always about you.

So, you learn to stand on your own and to take care of yourself ... and in the process a sense of safety and security is born of self-reliance.

You stop judging and pointing fingers and you begin to accept people as they are and to overlook their shortcomings and human frailties ... and in the process a sense of peace and contentment is born of forgiveness.

You learn to open up to new ideas and different points of view/ you begin reassessing and redefining who you are and what you really want out of the rest of your life.

You learn the difference between WANTING and NEEDING and you begin to discard the doctrines and values you've outgrown through the grief process (or should have never brought into it in the first place).

You learn that principles such as honesty and compassion are not outdated ideals, but the mortar that holds together the foundation upon which you must build your new life.

You learn that you don't know everything, it's not your job to save the world and that you can't teach a pig to sing. You learn that the only cross to bear is the one you choose to carry and that martyrs get burned at the stake.

Then you begin to relearn about love. You learn to look at relationships as they really are and not as you would have them to be. You learn that alone does not necessarily mean lonely.

You stop trying to control people, situations and outcomes. You learn to distinguish between guilt and responsibility and the importance of setting boundaries and learning to say NO.

You learn that your body really is your temple. You begin to care for it and treat it with respect. You learn that being tired fuels doubt, fear and depression so you take more time to rest. And, just as food fuels the body, laughter fuels our souls. So you take more time to laugh and PLAY.

You learn that, for the most part, you get in life what you TRULY BELIEVE you deserve, and that much of life is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

You learn that anything worth achieving is worth working for and that wishing for something to happen is different than working towards making it happen.

Most importantly, you learn that in order to really "move on" you need direction, discipline and perseverance. You also learn that no one can do it all alone, and that it's OK to risk asking for help, whether it is from a friend or a professional.

You learn to fight for your life and not to squander it under a cloud of impending doom, gloom and sadness.

You finally ACTUALLY learn that life isn't always fair - you don't always get what you think you deserve and that sometimes-bad things happen to good people ... and more importantly, you learn not to always take it personally.

You learn that nobody punished you and everything isn't always "somebody's" fault. It's just life happening.

You learn that negative feelings such as anger, envy and resentment must be understood and redirected or they will suffocate the life out of you and poison your whole world.

You learn to be thankful and take comfort in many of the simple things we take for granted - things that millions of people upon the earth can only dream about - a full refrigerator, clean running water, a soft warm bed, a long hot shower.

Then, you begin to take some responsibility for yourself and by yourself and you make yourself a promise to never betray yourself again and to never, ever settle for less than your heart's desire.

You make it a point to keep smiling, to keep trusting, and to stay open to every wonderful possibility.

Finally, with courage in your heart, you take a stand, you take a deep breath and you begin to design the life you want to live as best you can

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Comment by Sad One on June 18, 2015 at 11:04am

I am at 4 yrs, 4 months out myself.  Some of what is included in this, your blog here, I am going through. But other parts I am just not there yet. I can relate to some of it though. Hard to put into words or see through the gloom. And here it is stated so clearly. Thank you, Paula, for sharing this!

Comment by rodsgurl09 on June 4, 2015 at 6:31pm

I absolutely love this....and it rings so true. I'm at just about 4 24 days it will be 4 years, not that I'm counting :/ 

Wishing you peace. <3

Comment by Paula on June 4, 2015 at 4:31pm

LOL Dianne, I can't believe I did not think of that. I found it on YWBB of all places but it did not have the author credited. It truly resonated with me when I read it. I am very glad that I could share it here. 

Comment by katpilot on June 4, 2015 at 9:35am


Truly nice Paula

Gives us all hope for the future when the struggle might be the journey.

Comment by Dianne in Nevada on June 3, 2015 at 6:23pm

This is very good, Paula.  Thank you!  

I found this reference when I googled the first line:

Comment by BEC on June 3, 2015 at 5:01am

Thank you, I needed that!

Comment by Choosing life on June 3, 2015 at 4:36am
Amen, Paula. Tomorrow will be two years. Been through so much while starting to realize there is so much more to come. Rushing along does not work. I am learning to walk slowly and live in the moment --- not easy for sure. I will be re-reading you post for days to come. You have reaffirmed what I have learned so far. Thank you for sharing.

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