Your Past Does Not Define You – Unless You Allow It To

your past does not define you
Photo by Andressa Voltolini - Unsplash

Your past does not define you.

Looking back, there are plenty of things we wish we wouldn’t have done. But it only appears that way in hindsight. I want you to remember that when you chose to do whatever it is you did, you made that decision in that moment. You made the decision with all that you knew back then, and if you knew better, you would’ve done better. But you didn’t know better, and that’s alright.

Guilt and shame have a way of dragging you down the rabbit hole of regret. I want you to know that I’ve gone down there. I’ve spiralled into the hole and spent days trapped with thoughts forcing me to believe that what I’ve done is who I am. And I beat myself up about it for weeks on end. Telling myself that I didn’t deserve any light or goodness from this world. That I’ve had my fair share and I squandered it.

It took months of positive self-talk and seeking support from family and friends, to help me realise that my past is what it is. A thing of the past. It has no power over my present or my future. Except for the power I choose to give it.

No matter how dark your past is, if you’re trying to move out of that space and cultivate a better life for yourself, please don’t allow it to have a hold over you. Your past does not determine what your future will bring. Trust in the goodness of your heart. Trust that you are able to grow out of those negative patterns and into a new, beautiful thing.

Believe that there are beautiful things for you to still experience.

If people in your life haven’t let you feel this way, allow yourself to let them go. Distance yourself from people who hold you back from seeing the light that the present moment offers. Move away from people who can’t bear to see your transformation. The ones who mock you and try to pull you down to the level they function at.

Move on from people who are always looking for ways to hurt you using your past as their weapon. Because the people who can’t move on from the version of you that you used to be, and make it difficult for you to do the same, are the kind of people you wouldn’t want around while you’re becoming this person. A person who learns to see beyond what has been.

Forgive yourself for choosing to do what you did back then. There’s nothing wrong with making mistakes, the only wrong thing would be to not learn from them. Your past does not define you, and it does not hold you back. It propels us forward into a new form of being.

Your past doesn’t define you, neither should it scare you. It’s not something you need to lock up and hide away and make sure no one ever finds the key. It’s a part of who you once were. You need to own your past and all the mistakes and shortcomings that come with it. Because it’s those very lessons that are shaping you into the person you are today. Those lessons happened for a reason. And if you’ve learnt a thing or two from them, you know that they no longer control you.

Surround yourself with people who accept you as you are, with all that you bring to the table. People who aren’t afraid of your scars or your brokenness. People who are willing to even hold space for you while you piece yourself together. Surround yourself with people who don’t feel the need to shame you, or belittle you, or bring up parts of your past in conversation just to satisfy some twisted part of themselves. Welcome in people who love the person you are today, and who understand that where you’ve been is what led you to where you are now.

Trust that there are people out there who will love you like this. Trust that there are good and beautiful and new things waiting to happen for you. Put aside what everyone else has said to you over time, and the things you’ve been saying to yourself.

Believe that there is always fresh grace to be experienced in every new moment.

Believe that your past does not define you.

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