When I was sixteen years old I knew I wanted to be a motivational speaker. I knew my story was unique and riveted deep into the souls of those who knew me. I wanted to take my past and the life I was choosing despite and put them together in one beautiful masterpiece that could be shared with the world. I wanted to change lives.
When I told my plans to the woman I looked up to the most at the time I was struck down immediately. She told me that my past was like a stain on a carpet. She asked me if I would ever invite all the neighbors over to look at, inspect, and talk about a stain I had in my home. At such an impressionable age I nodded and shook my head in agreement. I walked away with my tail between my legs and a very visible stain apparently that I'd never really noticed before it was pointed out to me.
Too many years later I realized she was wrong.
I'm going to speak to those with a past now.
Your past is not a stain. At this moment you need to shut the door on those that would tell you it is. Step away from the idea that you are a part of this herd of cattle that has been branded and your only fate is the slaughter. The idea that you're going to end up somewhere dark because of what has happened to you or something that you've done is something that you will most definitely hear your whole life. Step away from this idea and know that it is wrong.
The future is not hereditary. You are not your mom, your dad, your sister, or brother. The choices you make from this moment forward are yours and yours only.
Your future is not the virus that society would tell you your past is. You are not the abuser, the drugs, the jail time, or the failures.
Use your experiences to push you forward. Remind yourself daily that you stepped up to and moved mountains. If you're still in the battle field don't give up. Fight it and win. Show all those that only see a stain that they were wrong about you. Show them something beautiful.
Don't take your experiences in vain. Don't hide them in embarrassment from the world. Use them for good. Help others that have been there and can't seem to move on. Encourage those that are struggling. Offer comfort to those who weep. There will be those you come in contact with that are lost in darkness convinced that no life is a better option than the struggle. Always take their hand and be a light for them to find their way back.
If you were made of glass and your past were a stain you would be the most beautifully stained window that sunlight has ever shown through.
I hope you will share this with all you know. Someone always needs to hear it.