Brilliant post Dan.
I believe that sometimes the biggest positive lessons in our lives are born out of a pain somewhere along the line. But, equally, at some point we must make the choice to turn the lesson into a positive one. Letting go of pain takes b*lls because sometimes the pain is all that's left.
Acceptance of the truth is tough, but it's the most positive turning point for anyone going through a break up. I recall still making excuses for my ex's behaviour to his friends, his family, my family, his work colleagues...e.g. 'He's really an amazing person - he just doesn't know what he's doing', etc. etc. What a mug I was, defending him when I should have been protecting myself!
Lessons for me was also look at his actions as opposed to his words; love myself more; AND to set my personal boundaries (sometimes I still have to remind myself not to compromise these to please others). But what fantastic lessons! And wonderful positives have come out of them.