Silver lining

Every experience, no matter how bad it seems, holds within it a blessing of some kind. The goal is to find it. Buddha

As the saying goes, every cloud has a silver lining. It is sometimes hard to see the positive things, when we are blinded by pain, anger and resentment, but if we think hard enough, there is always something. Now that I have detached myself from my negative feelings, stopped ruminating and made peace with my ex-partner, I am starting to believe that I may have lost a lot, but that I also gained invaluable insight.

For many months I was unable to see anything positive because I was engrossed in my own suffering and worried about my health, after a very bad bout of pneumonia.  Now that I have had the results from my chest X-ray and that I know I am fine, I have turned the page over the past and I am heading in the right direction. I know that I have become a stronger person. I have built up resilience. I have built up hope. I have built up myself.

I was not a strong person when I met him I had just come out of a 20 year marriage and I was lost. I thought that getting into another relationship would give me the security I had lost, make me feel safe and prevent me from being lonely. Unfortunately, I was wrong on all counts. I ended up feeling insecure, unsafe and lonely.

It is easy to go down the wrong path when we feel hurt and betrayed, but I refuse to let my experience reduce me. I have grown.  I have learnt the hard way, but I learnt.

Here is the list of what I learnt:

  1. I should never put someone first when they are only willing to make me one of their options.
  2. I should never try to be someone I am not to seek the approval of another person.
  3. Love should never feel like fear or pain. Then it is not love.
  4. If I feel insecure, disrespected and uncared for in a relationship, then I should end it.
  5. It is fine to give someone a second chance but not a third, fourth, fifth, sixth….
  6. I know who my real friends were.
  7. When too many “accidents” or coincidences happen, then they are neither.
  8. I should never stay with someone because I am sorry for them.
  9. I should never ignore my gut feelings. They are there for a reason.
  10. A relationship is give and take, not just give.
  11. I don’t need to find external validation to feel good about myself.
  12. I am a good, caring and loving person, who will never lose trust.
  13. I should never put someone else’s needs before my own.
  14. Trust has to be earned and not given blindly.

Maybe one day I will be able to be in a loving and caring relationship, but at the moment the only company that I need is my own. I have to give myself time to heal. As one of my colleagues told me:  “In Scotland, we have a saying, you need to wait until the bed is cold.”

There is the big silver lining: I am finally happy with being alone.  I can come home with no fear or anxiety. I do not have to compare myself negatively to other women because I am afraid of losing him I do not have to wonder whom he might be texting when he is locked up in the bathroom with his mobile phone. I do not have to wait anxiously for him to return home after work.   I do not have to listen to his devaluing comments about me being controlling and crazy.

My home is a safe place. I do not have to walk on eggshells anymore. My children do not have to worry about upsetting him. I can be who I am. I can be me. A stronger me…

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