You’re More Than What Happened to You

For anyone who’s had it rough

Your history makes you, but…

We love the idea of self-determination and free will. But to get there, you have to accept the opposite premise. We’re influenced by all kinds of things beyond our control — even beyond our awareness.

You can be so much more

The memories of your pain aren’t for anyone else but you. The point of telling your story isn’t to wrack up sympathy points.

Your past is your codex

You think memories float up randomly. But there’s always a reason. Your brain is reminding you why you are a certain way.

Stop giving power to your ghosts

Someone who hurts you doesn’t have to die to become a ghost. They just have to leave. What they did to you remains.

A simple strategy to expel your ghosts

This one involves a journal, or at least a notepad.

  1. Write down what’s stopping you.
  2. Trace the cause as far back as you can.
  3. Ask what’s stopping you now.
  4. Decide to act differently.

Let them go for good

Odds are, the person who hurt you has forgotten what they did. Or they’ll trivialize your trauma and call it “tough love.” Family members and friends might even defend them.

Your past never goes away

You can journal about it. You can write about, talk about it, sing about it, paint about it. And you should. Art helps you express what’s on the inside, what’s so hard to get out in the open.

The big secret to overcoming

Look at all those happy, well-adjusted people out in the world. They make it look so easy. It doesn’t seem fair.

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