Your Past Does Not Define You

Well, unless you let it. Many of us have come from difficult, troubled, or tragic places, sometimes beyond our control, it’s easy to get labeled, or label ourselves as victims, or as those people from our past, but that’s not who we are.

I used to dwell on the past, use it as an excuse to for bad behavior, for not treating myself well, for doing self-destructive things, to me, and those around me. I told myself that it didn’t matter, that I was a bad person, and that I was entitled to it because of my past, I was wrong. Perpetuating that story or narrative only got me deeper into the darkness, and yes, there are times in our lives, or circumstances, that are beyond our control, but as an adult we at some point need to take responsibility for who we are and how we’re living our lives, and not use those things as a crutch to behave badly or to not do better for ourselves. We as adults have the power to change our stories, or to start new ones. To say that the past is the past and let it go, or move forward. Some things are easier than others to let go, but nothing is impossible. There may be circumstances that change us forever, but we then get to decide who we are in that new normal, and how we can make a difference, to ourselves, or others. I found a way to take seemingly negative events in my life and use them to connect with others, to share, to offer hope, those things, the past, now has positive purpose in my life, and because of that, all of that darkness is now surrounded by light.

No one gets to tell us who we are, or should be. Only we get to decide. And if someone is only willing to see us the way we were, or in a certain light that is not true to who we are today, then perhaps we need to let them go. It is also up to us who we share our lives with, and as we learn and try to live in the light it’s important to share our lives with those also doing the same, or, at least trying.

Using your past to hide is like continuing the abuse, the bad behavior, or reliving the difficult circumstance over and over again, only you are the one who’s doing it to yourself. To me, that makes it worse. It’s up to us to break the pattern, it’s up to us to say that’s not who we are, and it’s up to us to rise above and not let that define us. There may be residual effects from our past that we need to deal with in our day to day lives today, but we deal with them, we take them in stride, and not let them stop us from moving on, from living the life we want for ourselves today, from succeeding where we once may have failed. Everyone has obstacles to overcome, some more than others, but finding a way to work through them, work around them, or, incorporate them into the life we want is what sets us apart from those who stay stuck and never reach their full potential.

Let the past go, talk about it, work through it, tell yourself that you are not what has happened to you, or even what you may have done to yourself, not if you change that behavior today, and when you are able to do that there is no shame in where you’ve come from, because you are no longer that person, you are better, stronger, brighter, you are who you are truly meant to be, and to get there, it takes some falls, some lessons, and some forgiveness. Let go of what no longer serves you, look for opportunities to turn your past into a positive path for you to walk today, one that allows you to be your best self and allows you to let go of what no longer serves you. SLAY on!

SLAY OF THE DAY: Do you let your past define you? Do others label you based on your past? How does that make you feel? Or, are you the one who labels yourself? Why? How does that help you? How does that hurt you? What can you do today to overcome your past? Who in your life can help you do that? Who supports you in this effort? Who do you admire for rising above their past? What can you learn from them? What can you apply to your own life to do the same? SLAYER, we all have the opportunity to let go, make peace, or re-purpose those parts of our past that are not who we are today, so don’t let anyone, or yourself, hold you back from being your best you.

S – self L – love A – appreciate Y – you

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