The thing I learned most in my long life is this:
You ARE the company you keep.
This is the notion I will drum into my children and grandchildren (and also myself): If you spend most of your time with people who exude integrity, joy, honesty, work ethic, faith and soul, you will assume the language and habits of these qualities yourself. If you spend most of your time with lazy, lying, irresponsible people you will adopt the language and habits of those qualities yourself.
I have become less than I was. I was trying so hard to love someone I thought I MUST love. I will, going forward, seek out people with habits and language that I aspire to and I will put forth good language and habits into the world, letting go of the hope, promises and dreams of dedicated marriage with my high school sweetheart in favor of growing up to be an adult with the fortitude of a person who is supported by strong, reliable people. I will go forward with a renewed faith that connection with God does not demand that I remain small but rather that I can do all things.
I am trying to reconcile these two truths. Love and Integrity. Where did I lose my integrity just trying so hard to love (verb) but being disappointed and resentful (feelings) in that attempt?