During my failing marriage, I got very good at listening for the sirens of destruction (I had done something wrong) and looking for an escape or some heroic journey to fix the problem. Both in my marriage and in this relationship, that was not the right approach.
Positive divorce is a choice. And the process to get there requires time, insight, and often the help of professionals. But the alternative is bitterness and continued failings at love relationships as you make the same mistakes, miss the same red flags, and put up with the same behaviors that got you into the divorce in the first place.
My self-acceptance is not quite what I would call self-love, but I really appreciate the term self-care. And by caring for myself I am showing love for parts of myself I have always tried to hide.
But I am also a learning individual. I can adapt and make changes in my plans and trajectories. So while I was thinking I had lost orbit and was shooting away for some new destination. I may have been only slowing to the gravitational pull of this amazing lady, and learning what her fears and passions were as well.
I look forward to having another opportunity to learn about myself "in a relationship" at some point. I'm happy and patient right where I am. But I believe by having my priorities clear and articulated I can do a better job of finding and sorting through the process of finding that NEXT RELATIONSHIP. I wait enthusiastically.
In divorce, when you lose everything, what you still have is your kids. And while you are deep into the recovery of your own feelings, paying attention and parenting from a place of wholeness is critical.