It Doesn’t Matter Where You’ve Been, It Matters How You Grow


Listen. In this life, you’re going to make plenty of mistakes. You’re going to love the wrong people. You’re going to fail. You’re going to cry. You’re going to trust someone who lets you down. You’re going to break a promise. You’re going to lose people you love. You’re going to do something you never thought you would. You’re going to fall down.

But most importantly, you’re going to forgive others, forgive yourself, and move forward.

Life is about making mistakes. It’s about learning and being imperfect and trying to find your way along a path that isn’t perfectly laid out for you. It’s about discovering who you are. It’s about letting go. It’s about finding a way back to solid ground after you lost your footing.

It’s about trying again, and again, even when you’re all out of hope.

And here’s the most important thing you need to know about your existence on this earth—it really doesn’t matter where you’ve been or what has happened to you in the past. What matters is how you grow.

We all come from different places. We all have our baggage. We all have the trauma and the pain, the emotion and the fear, the lessons learned and the best moments, and we carry those with us wherever we go.

Sometimes we can lighten our load. Sometimes we learn, over time, to let go of the things that drag us down. Sometimes we don’t carry our pain with us. But it’s still there, still a part of us. And no matter how terrible, those things have made us who we are now.

But all of that baggage—it’s in the past. And what matters now, is how we move on from it. How we take our pain and manifest it into love. How we convert our hurt into healing. How we continue forward. How we become.

I’m not saying you forget it. I’m not saying that you magically erase what has happened to you, or reduce it to nothing. I’m not saying that what has hurt you will suddenly cease to carry weight. And I’m by no means saying what you’ve gone through, what I’ve gone through, what we’ve collectively gone through doesn’t matter.

I’m saying that we simply cannot live our lives in the shadows. We can’t let what has happened to us destroy us and our futures. We can’t be limited by the ways we’ve been hurt, we’ve been let down, or the ways we’ve let ourselves down.

We are bigger and brighter than that.
We are meant for better things.
We are powerful, too powerful to look backwards.

So please, remember this—the past is the past. It doesn’t matter where you’ve been, what has happened to you, or what mistakes you have made—you are still an incredible, powerful person.

And the future welcomes you with open arms. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

About the author

Marisa Donnelly

Marisa is a writer, poet, & editor. She is the author of Somewhere On A Highway, a poetry collection on self-discovery, growth, love, loss and the challenges of becoming.

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