By: Rebekah Hibbert, Guest BloggerNovember 26, 2015
Image via yourlifeyourway.net
My friend fought back her tears and told me: "I am damaged and no one wants to deal with that.” It broke my heart, not just to see a woman in front of me crying but also to see one who could not see her own strength. Instead of seeing the way she had risen from the ashes of a broken relationship, she saw only the person who had stayed in that relationship longer than perhaps she should have. And from that she had decided it made her broken, damaged, and maybe even worse, harder to love. We are all “damaged.” Of course there are varying degrees and those who have suffered more than others, but who we are today is built by the trials we have faced in our lives.
When we are young we try everything. We are open to all of it. Maybe it is the lack of consequences we feel in our younger years or lack of experience from repercussions of what happens but we dive right in. As we get older we start to pull back. We want to live a bold life, but we fear judgment, not just from the outside but also from ourselves. There is baggage.
Whether big or small we all bring parts of our past in to the present. And we worry does this make us damaged?
And does that damage make us harder to love? Do we divulge the secrets of our past or do we hold them tight, hoping that we have learned from them enough to never repeat them? Then we examine social media and see only “perfect” lives, further convincing ourselves there is something wrong with us. We must have failed at one turn or another. But what we often forget is what we see on social media isn't real, it is only the parts that people want us to see and those are usually only the good parts. We have all been through things, we all fight every day to better ourselves, it makes none of us less and it surely doesn't make us less worthy of love from others.
If we are dealing with the past, and we are making the changes necessary to move forward, then we should not fear what we bring to any relationship.
We cannot live life in fear of what our past brings to our present. We survived. Through whatever tore us down, brought us to our knees or brought us to tears, we survived. We cannot fear what other people might think of the things we have been through, or the things that took a little longer to figure out weren't good for us. We can’t be so afraid to let others know about the hard times, we all have them. More importantly, they are what make us stronger and help us realize we have so much more will and grit then we ever gave ourselves credit for. They are the things that when we look back at our paths in life will be the things that shaped us. They changed the direction of our lives and they helped us get to the place we are now.
If you are going through something right now and you feel “damaged” you need to know you are not. You are more profound, stronger, and more lovable because of the struggles, the hard times, the difficult lessons, and the moments where you picked yourself up, removed yourself from a difficult situation, and chose to live a new, bold life.
Hard times help us grow and learn, but they don’t have to be the only stories we keep. How have past challenges shaped you? Tell us below!
Rebekah works as an Athletic Trainer in Kentucky. She also maintains her blog The Real Girl Grind and is dedicated to inspiring others to maintain a positive self image in this image obsessed world.
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