What I have learned:
Life breaks through the membrane of my protective beliefs, regardless of how strongly I hold them. I can survive great amounts of pain, and therefore joy, and keep going. Missing my parents (and others) does not deter me from appreciating life and being happy. I can handle arising challenges, even when I am certain I cannot. When peace is elusive, I ratchet my energies up to find it. I am bigger than I thought or imagined. Life is worth it.