I've always been a realist - all those touchy-feely New Age affirmations have never really been my "thing" ......until recently. My husband is a family counselor and he is a big advocate of the power of positive thinking. The more we wire our brain with positive thoughts, the more we change our view of the world. It's not magic, or a miracle, it's a gradual readjustment to the way we approach life. And as I've given time and attention to thinking about all the good in my life and being grateful, I can see what a change it has made.
My husband always said "I made a vow" as his idea of affirming that he wouldn't leave. That's all well and good until depression messes with his thinking and a life of solitude starts to look attractive! Making a vow is really important, keeping the vow is even more important, but the most valuable gift you can give is to keep the love alive and nurture the relationship that is the most significant long term one we will experience.
I can lament the fact that they've left, or I can look at how well they're doing and be proud of the contribution our parenting has made in their lives. Our kids are independent, financially secure and emotionally stable - not much more that you could ask for as a parent (although a visit home now and then would be a bonus!)
I am discovering who I truly am as a person - not who I think I should be to keep other people happy, but who I am under all the expectations (most of which I had heaped on myself). I am innately happy and upbeat these days, I feel that if my life was a garden, it would be blooming. I don't need anyone to come and plant flowers for me, I'm too busy planting my own and it feels like my garden is alive and thriving. No bitterness or dryness is going to get in there and kill stuff off - because I'm going to keep being positive - I think that's what waters the soil.