@shannonl5 - Thank you for those kind and very true words. I think of life as a journey and the choices you make lay the foundation for your path. Your path is yours and yours alone, but you must also be aware that you are not alone on the road - that all around you are others trying to make sense of their own paths. This is the biggest lesson I've had to learn... no matter how much we love - or hate another person - to interfere in their path brings you together on the road and you will from that moment be part of each others journey. I have to constantly ask myself if when everything is said and done and we go our separate ways - will they be better off for having known me? To do evil, even unintentional - is truly the most damaging thing you can choose (in the advancement of your own path). I had to get to a place where I had learned to stop listening to others in regards to my path... who I am and what I want to be - to become clear enough to see the road before me for what it is - it's just a road.
Think about it like this - if your life is a vehicle that you are driving down some road - some lanes move faster than others - and some are more crowded... if you are too busy looking in the rear-view mirror, or in the vehicles around you - or say the lives of those you are closest to - you can think of them as being passengers in your vehicle - if you are too busy yelling into the back seat or doing ANYTHING that takes your eyes off the road you can miss VERY important signs - warning about dangerous conditions, or you might miss an important fork in the road - one that would have taken you into a different direction that you really should have followed.
Everything you have in your life - in some way shape or form you've invited it. I don't believe in victims or excuses - not to say that really bad things don't happen randomly to people - or that in some way when bad things happen they deserve it. Not that type of victim. But I'm talking about people who want to use excuses or they deflect the negative things that they've invited into their lives. You get what you choose.
And you have to really learn who you are and be honest with yourself about yourself and your motivations and goals, the things you choose and the own all of it... only then can you hope to move forward and find the path that will take you to the place you want to be.