It has been humbling (and painful beyond belief) to realize that I need to focus on one key thing in my life: my foundation is cracked.
I've spent most of the last eight years (1997-2005) trying to build up a network and an identity for myself, failing and flailing as I go along, digging myself deeper and deeper into a pit of my own making.
And it is only the hard way that I've learned that I can't work on the higher-up stuff without dealing with the lower-down stuff first. The fundamentals, the foundational stuff that needs to be stable and strong for you to build upon.
For example, I can now see that it's pointless to try and make a romantic relationship work when I can't even love myself.
It's useless to work myself up over not getting what I think I deserve, because life is *not* fair and there is *no* contract that says, if you follow all the "rules", that you will get what you want. People are not always going to follow the Golden Rule, and God is not some celestial vending machine.
And it's deadly dangerous to suppress parts of yourself so severely, that you land up with a continuous "background process" running in your brain, constantly at work to keep those parts out of your consciousness, in order to "save" yourself. Because in "saving" myself I just burdened myself even more. Being blind to yourself as you really are is worse than any prison.
And that it's better to have a smaller number of closer friends than a Rolodex packed full of acquaintances. One minor miracle of the past eight months has been to realize that I don't have to *do* anything to be loved and valued; I just have to accept that I already *am* loved and valued (even if I don't see things from the same perspective as my friends and family do).
I have to focus on the little things before I can expect to achieve the bigger things in life. Which means accepting that I have cracks in my foundation, areas which were slapped together and now need to be repaired properly before I can move forward.
Painful. Humbling. But necessary.