You are not your past — no matter how easy it is to forget that.
You are not the person you used to be. And the mistakes that person made are not your destiny — you are not doomed to repeat them. You are allowed to have learned, to have grown, to have evolved beyond the impulsive reactions that some expired version of yourself once decided on. You aren’t tethered to your old coping mechanisms — you have grown past them and learned new ways of surviving.
You are not the company you used to keep. You’re not the people you partied too hard with, the friends who once brought out the worst in you, the loved ones or significant others who wanted you to be someone you weren’t. Your core identity is not a reflection of anyone you have invested in or anyone you once chose to love. You aren’t the people who shaped who some past version of you became, because you’ve chosen to become someone different since then.
You are not a victim of the people who hurt you. You don’t have to live your life in shame or fear of the wounds someone else once cast on your skin. You don’t have to keep hurting, to keep fixating, to keep carrying forward the trauma that once visited your life. You’re allowed to let go — let go of anger, let go of resentment, let go of all the scars that once battered your skin. You don’t have to keep reacting from a place of pain and fear and disappointment. You’re allowed to be whole once again.
You are not the story you used to tell yourself. You aren’t the failure, the disappointment, the inadequate, incompetent fool you once believed that you were. You’re allowed to change your own internal narrative. You’re allowed to start loving who you are. You don’t have to keep bullying and belittling yourself because it’s easier than choosing self-acceptance. You’re allowed to build a brand new identity. You can step out of the shadow of shame.
You are not the any of the bad things that happened to you. No matter how much pain you have encountered, how much trauma has touched on your life, how many years you have spent telling yourself that things will never get better, you’re allowed to change that narrative right now.
You’re allowed to realize that you are not your past — not today and not tomorrow and not a single day that follows after that. That you can make the choice right now to drop whatever it is that is hurting you — rejection or fear or disappointment or anger or pain — and start all over.
Start over as someone who knows that the future is allowed to be different. Who knows that the kind of life they want is still waiting for them.
Start over as someone who’s aware that who they were ten years or ten months or ten minutes ago doesn’t have any bearing on who they are going to be now.
Because their past doesn’t own them anymore.