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You Are More Than Your Past

I need you to understand that you are not your past—you have only been shaped by it.

Please realize there is a huge difference between the two. This vital difference is what matters. This is what you must remind yourself every time you feel like you are being haunted by yesterday. You see, what lies between being your past versus being shaped by your past is this subtle difference we call growth. And growth is the purest human experience that exists. It is the purest thing each of us can experience. What a beautiful thing that is, to be able to feel and see the evolution of your very own soul looking backwards while envisioning what it could grow into as you look forward. There is such magic in this. There is such rawness in this. There is such beauty in this.

The truth is you will not remain as the same person you are today your entire life. You shouldn’t. You are allowed to mold. And remold. And remold again. This is how it should be. Because although your past may not be something that can be rewritten or changed, your future is something that still can be. And this is what you must focus on.

So I urge you to not let one experience, one person, or one decision determine how the rest of your life unravels. Know you will rise from your weakest moments. And strengthen from the most difficult ones. Because even if you have darkness in your past, you can choose to shine a light on it instead. You can choose to shine despite it. You can choose to let it propel you forward instead of letting it be the very thing that keeps you held back.

I know it can be difficult to confront your past, but when you choose to accept it rather than deny it, it will no longer be the thing that haunts you. I hope you let it become the very thing that helps you heal instead. I hope you let it become the very thing that pushes you to move forward.

And so, in times when you find yourself conflicted between choosing to move on or choosing to hold on, I hope you remember just how brave you are. Just how strong you can be. You see, sometimes we have to move on, not because we want to, but because the pain of holding on becomes unbearable. But please do not mistake moving on as letting go. Even if it means moving on from a past life, a past friend, or a past love. Know you can still move on while carrying that love forward. While carrying your dreams forward too. It is not selfish. Sometimes, moving on is a necessary means of survival. Sometimes, moving on is a necessary means for peace.

Understand it is okay if you wake up tomorrow in the same bed, in the same situation, or in the same pain. Because there will be a minor shift in your mindset, and this is all that truly matters. This minor shift will have a major impact on your day tomorrow, on the next week, on the next month, and on the next year. This minor shift in your mindset is what will help transform you into a person who no longer wants to just be alive but into a person who truly wants to feel alive. Because choosing to move on should not mean choosing to let go. Choosing to move on should be seen as choosing to reach for the future, even if you are unsure of what it may hold.

One day you will wake up and realize that gently, day by day, it became easier to reminisce about the past without harbouring the need to live in it. One day you will wake up and realize that slowly, day by day, it became easier to carry lessons from the past without the baggage that comes with it. And above all else, one day you will wake up and realize that day by day, you grew confident enough to accept your past without the need to carry any shame from it. Because the truth is, feeling alive is so much more fulfilling than simply just being alive. It is the awakening of a soul. And it is something each soul deserves to experience. So go on and don’t just take that next breath, feel that next breath. Please go on feeling alive.

About the author
Poetry will forever be the food for my soul. So are Nutella crepes. Follow Melissa on Instagram or read more articles from Melissa on Thought Catalog.

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